On International Day of the Girl last month, Global G.L.O.W.’s HerStory participant Shreeya from Nepal gave a moving and poignant speech to a packed room at the United Nations. She spoke about the dowry system and its negative implications on girls and young women in her local community. Her declaration, “a girl is not an animal, a girl is not a toy, a girl is not garbage. A girl is strong like me,” was met with a standing ovation.
That day, Shreeya gave a voice to girls all over the world who cannot speak for themselves. And, while girls are strong, intelligent and capable of transforming entire communities, they continue to face overwhelming barriers that keep them from becoming the leaders and changemakers we need.
At Global G.L.O.W., we are working to change that. Through our largest initiative, the HerStory campaign, we are on the ground with more than 7,000 girls in 27 countries around the world. We listen to their needs and develop tailored programming to help empower them to use their voices to pave the way for change. In addition to the HerStory campaign, we are currently piloting a new initiative called Healthy Glow, which focuses specifically on health and wellness issues girls face.
In general, Global G.L.O.W. is focused on helping achieve five targeted outcomes that benefit girls, as well as entire communities:
Self-Esteem and Advocacy: Many girls lack the support they need to build self-confidence and advocate for themselves. Without life skills and a clear understanding of who they are, it is impossible for girls to overcome the challenges they face. Once a girl feels strong enough to use her own voice for change, she can fight for her rights and empower others in her community.
Health and Wellness: We recently introduced you to Patience and Kashish, two HerStory girls from Uganda who are teaching girls in their local community to sew sanitary pads from fabric. When girls are provided the basic knowledge and access they need to healthcare, it opens doors in all facets of their life. They have a longer life-expectancy, they stay in school longer and their risk of physical and sexual violence is minimized.
Education and Literacy: In much of the world, girls do not have access to basic education and learning opportunities. When girls are educated, we all win. They are healthier, raise a healthier family and strengthen economies.
Economic Opportunity: Restricted access to financial resources, information technology and low connectivity limits girls’ future chances for economic equality. Women could increase their income globally by up to 76% if employment and wage gaps between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion. Moreover, women and girls reinvest 90% of their income back into their families and communities, compared to only 30-40% for men and boys.
Community Impact: With the help of our HerStory programming, girls identify barriers to their success in their local communities and develop plans (Community Action Plans, or CAPs) to incite change. Along with their Global GLOW mentors, the girls implement their plans and help build a better tomorrow for everyone in their community.
Want to help? Click here to champion a girl to change the world today. Every dollar we raise is invested directly into our programming. It is crucial for us, now more than ever, to take down the barriers that prevent girls from being a force for positive change.