Photo by Michelle Amarante

Today we celebrate girls around the world for International Day of the Girl. In 2012 the U.N. declared October 11th as The International Day of The Girl.  In 2016 Girls and women are still dispropotionately  facing discrimination, oppression, and subjugation around the world but a shift is underway.  With girls and women figured prominently into the Sustainable Development Goals as SDG 5, Gender Equality, the world seems to be waking up to the fact that  it is a problem to leave half the population behind. To educate a girl, is to educate a community,   when girls are excluded from the education process, a nation is cheated out of half of its full potential.

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” – United Nations

Here are some facts from the UN:

  • About two thirds of countries in the developing regions have achieved gender parity in primary education
  • In Southern Asia, only 74 girls were enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys in 1990. By 2012, the enrolment ratios were the same for girls as for boys.
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
  • Women in Northern Africa hold less than one in five paid jobs in the non-agricultural sector. The proportion of women in paid employment outside the agriculture sector has increased from 35 per cent in 1990 to 41 per cent in 2015
  • In 46 countries, women now hold more than 30 per cent of seats in national parliament in at least one chamber.

Only with equality can a community truly rise to its full potential. Girl are our future, and today we celebrate all girls around the world.






Photos:  Elizabeth Atalay

This is an original post written by Elizabeth Atalay for World Moms Blog.

How do you celebrate girls around the world?

Elizabeth Atalay

Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog,, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid,, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on, Johnson & Johnson’s,,, and Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.

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