Day of the Girl
Today is the first-ever United Nations international Day of the Girl.
Like us, #DayoftheGirl is really just a seed of an initiative – but one which will hopefully blossom into a larger, global conversation about girls’ rights.
It is a day of international recognition for girls everywhere. An opportunity to speak out against gender bias and to highlight the importance of girls’ education.
It is an especially exciting day for The Seed, as it marks our official public debut. If you didn’t catch our interview on BBC Radio Solent this morning, fear not. You can listen again below.
I’m really happy with how it went – even though they didn’t introduce me as from The Seed! Shout out to Hannah from Portsmouth High for joining me.
We’ve been working on a secret project to mark Day of the Girl, with the assistance of charitable foundation Gone Rural boMake in Swaziland.
While I returned to my old school, they went into our Swazi girl’s class, where we presented the same exercise – each asking fifteen 15-year-old girls where they hoped to be in fifteen years time.
The results – released on air this morning – were fascinating, and really highlighted how this new generation of Swazi teenagers are full of ambition and ready to grow into the female leaders of tomorrow.
When asked about their dream jobs, nearly half showed entrepreneurial flair – and a further 17% said they hoped to open their own hospital.
They seemed determined to pursue greater family planning than their parents, with three quarters wanting only two children and 40% specifically raising concerns about not having more children than they could afford to feed and educate.
The same proportion expressed a desire to make a good amount of money and be financially independent, suggesting a shift away from the male-dominated traditions of their society.
By contrast, it was the girls at my old school who put “a rich husband” on their wishlist (13%) – with one in five saying that, given the choice, they’d rather be a stay-at-home mum than go out to work.
This post-feminist view is intriguing in itself – suggesting that these girls don’t feel anyone doubts that they could compete in the workplace if they wished to.
More than a quarter of the girls from my old school simply said they hoped to be ‘happy’ in fifteen years time – apparently growing up with the confidence that their basic needs (such as food, shelter and education for their children) will be fulfilled. No doubt.
If you’d like to see the full results of our study, say so in the comment box below… For, of course, that is the other great triumph of today – the launch of this website!
I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share them below. Or give us a “whoop” for international Day of the Girl!
CLICK HERE TO MAKE A PLEDGE