IDG 2016: Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress

In 2011, the UN declared the 11th of October as the International Day of the Girl, to empower girls and to acknowledge the discrimination and inequality girls face on a global, and staggering scale. The theme for the 2016 International Day of the Girl is Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement. As girls make up roughly half of the world population, if girls aren’t achieving their potential, the entire world isn’t. When girls are educated, the entire world benefits. The UNESCO’s Institute of Statistics has found that 32 million primary school aged girls are...

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Review: ‘He Named Me Malala’

I’m slightly ashamed to admit I didn’t know all that much about Malala Yousafzai before I saw Davis Guggenheim’s latest venture (director of An Inconvenient Truth). I’d heard Malala’s story when it had been in the news some years ago, and once I had made the connection between my vague memory of the events and the film my friend was suggesting we watched, I was more than keen to tag along. For those out there who may still be uncertain as to who she is – Malala is a Pakistani activist still in her teens, who was targeted and shot by the Taliban in an attempt to stem her vocal support for...

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Guest Blog: The Spelman Course That Changed My Life: ‘Girls’ 

For a long time, I aspired to be a public relations and communications practitioner because I enjoy advocating and representing others. In fifth grade, the first time I represented others was when I became the class representative to room 17 at North Miami Elementary. I considered this my first political campaign; I made “vote for me” fliers from the pages of my composition notebook and handed out Oreos. Two decades later, I had no idea how me aspiring to be an advocate for my classmates and one Spelman course would change my life. On August 14, 3 days before the Fall 2016 semester began,...

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Education for All Report

  One of the stories in our April News Roundup episode of GirlSpeak featured the latest report from UNESCO. Entitled “Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges,” the report reviews the progress made on the Dakar Framework for Action that was put in place in 2000 with six wide-ranging education goals. This year, those goals should have been met. As you can read in their Summary Report, there has been great progress towards the goals. The Framework has helped achieve stunning growth in the number of children enrolled in school. In the past fifteen years, the number of...

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Happy Birthday, Juana Ines de la Cruz!

Today is the 363rd birthday of Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz, also known as Joan Agnes of the Cross. Juana was born in 1651 near Mexico City as the illegitimate child of Spanish Captain Pedro Manual de Asbaje and Isabel Ramirez. During her childhood at her grandfather’s hacienda, Juana often hid in the chapel to read her grandfather’s books – at a time when reading was forbidden to girls. By age 3, she knew how to read and write, and by age 5, she could do accounting. By her teenage years, she had mastered Greek logic, Latin, and the Aztec language Nahuatl while also becoming a poet. At age...

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Memories of Girlhood: Back to School

August and September have always been two of my favorite months. Why? Because it’s time to go back to school! It’s time to catch up with old friends, make new ones, learn new things, plan holidays and projects, and get new school supplies (yes, I love the smell of freshly sharpened pencils). So what are you looking forward to this school year? Perhaps you’ll finally read a book you’ve wanted to discuss with others, or learn about a period in history or field of science that fascinates you. Maybe it’s the lunchtime chats with friends or the art projects you’ll make. But as you go back to...

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A Quick Zip across the Ravine

Girls throughout the world have a wide range of transportation options at their disposal. In most countries, boys and girls arrive at school via car, a public school bus, or a close walk or bike ride. However, some children, like Daisy Mara, use unconventional modes of transportation to get where they need. Daisy and her family live in Los Pinos, a remote village in the Colombian wilderness. The only school is located in another town, near the village. In order to get to this town for groceries, medicine, or in Daisy’s case, educational opportunities, residents have to either endure a...

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A Girl in Ancient Rome

Compared to later historical periods, girls in Ancient Rome had considerable freedoms. Girls spent the first six to seven years of their lives being cared for by a wet nurse, though they usually saw their parents quite often. Parents didn’t become involved with their children until the age of 6 or 7, since nearly a third of all kids died during infancy (thus parents tried to avoid making emotional attachments until it was certain the child would survive). At the age of 7, a young girl was presented with the same opportunity as her brothers: education. Especially in the upper class, education...

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Inspirational Girls: Zuriel Oduwole

It’s not often that a young girl makes a Top 100 list, ranking among powerful politicians and celebrities. Yet in 2013, Zuriel Oduwole was ranked among New African Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in Africa” list at the age of 11. Zuriel is celebrated for being a champion for girls’ empowerment through education. In the past few years, she has interviewed numerous major public figures and directed her own documentary, becoming a veteran journalist. Two years ago, she was named Ethiopian Airlines’ Global Ambassador, becoming part of many projects across the world. She also become...

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Proposed Florida Law seeks Separation of Sexes

Two lawmakers from Miami-Dade County have proposed a pilot program for certain districts and schools that would separate elementary school classes into boys-only and girls-only classes in core subject areas. While boys and girls would still share lunch and recess, they would sit through math, reading, and other subjects with only their same-sex peers. Though Rep. Diaz and Sen. Flores might mean well, their proposal is flawed–if not discriminatory. They believe it will lead to classrooms where students can be given “diverse educational settings” that also help accommodate the ways they “learn...

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