Time to empower all girls

October 11, 2017

Seven-year-old Isabelle Haeusler drew a picture of a girl helping another girl for International Day of the Girl.


Today, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of the Girl, focusing on empowering young girls.

This year’s theme ‘‘EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict’’ will form the focus of the day.

According to the UN, the day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

Across the world, empowered girls have raised their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts.

‘‘They are working to end violence against women and girls, to recognise indigenous rights, and to build peaceful and cohesive communities,’’ the UN’s website reads.

But, according to the UN, every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence.

‘‘In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking,’’ it said.

‘‘Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 per cent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.’’

The UN highlighted the world’s 1.1billion girls were a source of power, energy, and creativity and the millions of girls in emergencies were no exception.

‘‘This year’s International Day of the Girl marks the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises,’’ the UN said.

International Day of the Girl has been held since 2012.


Shepparton’s Isabelle Haeusler, 7, thinks girls are pretty awesome.

The St Mel’s student recently drew a picture for International Day of the Girl which she described as a girl helping another girl after she had fallen and hurt herself.

‘‘Some people think boys are stronger but girls can be just the same as boys,’’ Isabelle said.

She decided to do the drawing after she discovered the International Day of the Girl would be celebrated today, October 11.

‘‘I wanted to do something for the day,’’ she said.

Isabelle made sure to include some facts about girls on the back of her picture which she already had inside her head.

‘‘Girls are nice, girls are funny and girls rule the world,’’ the facts read.

Isabelle’s drawing could be seen as a reflection of what she wants from her own future — to help people.

‘‘I might be a children’s doctor when I’m older,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been to hospital a few times and the doctors really looked after me.’’

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