Celebrating International Day of the Girl: “Uniqueness is their Superpower.”
The rights of women and girls around the world have significantly improved over the last 25 years since the Fourth World Conference on Women was hosted in Beijing, China.
For this year’s International Day of the Girl on October 11, we are supporting all girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights. This important day recognizes the global commitment to further protect and advance the rights of girls. This year’s theme is “GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.”
I had the privilege to interview UNA-Greater Detroit Chapter member London Bell and asked her to think about what has changed for her in the past 25 years, and what piece of advice would she would give to her younger self and girls today.
What has changed for you in the past 25 years?
London Bell: “Over the past 25 years, I graduated from high school in Detroit and I had the privilege of pursuing higher education and becoming a lawyer with training in International Law. Due to the activism of my mother and women like her that came before me, I was able to pursue my education and offer my voice, my talents and my experiences as an African American woman in higher education classrooms. When the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was adopted in 1995, I turned 18 years old. I have benefited greatly from the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action because this policy has helped to raise the visibility of women and girls around the world and strengthen our voices even as we continue to fight for our human rights and to protect our dignity in all areas of life. Yet, I recognize that there is still work to be done, specifically concerning the gender-based violence against women and girls that is still prevalent in every part of the world. Nevertheless, I am happy the world came together in 1995 to adopt the most comprehensive policy for moving human rights for women and girls forward. The upcoming 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action serves as a tool for the world to mark its progress in advancing the rights of women and girls. It also serves as a reminder of the work we must continue to do.”
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self or girls today?
London Bell: “I would want young girls today to know that their uniqueness is their superpower. It is important for every girl to know that she is born whole, unique, and dynamic; and her personality, her talents, her interests, her dreams, and her voice are all vital and needed to make this world better.”
Every year, International Day of the Girl raises awareness for goals to better girls’ lives by promoting and protecting gender equality. Send a message to your elected officials asking them to champion equal education access for all girls around the world.