This year on International Women’s Day, we believe it’s time to throw on your favorite purple attire, gather your best girlfriends and celebrate the next generation of amazing, change-the-world, daring, adventurous women. As women who have seen our share of ups and downs with women’s status, rights and treatment, we owe it to young girls of all backgrounds to try to pave a smoother path for them. The causes below address a need nationally or internationally to lift up our youth and teach them that they have the strength and support to change the world. Let’s not forget how important it is to mentor our young boys to respect and empower women, too. We all benefit when everyone is supported and given their chance to shine.
Want to get inspired? Well, check out one of the many titles from this Women Owned, Certified B Corp book publisher and you will be blown away. The books feature girls from a wide variety of backgrounds who detail their passion for music, climate activism, entrepreneurship and even spiders! Whether used as a charming bedtime story or as a way to show girls how to dream big, Rebel Girls books give young girls an accessible way to discover their own potential. You can also listen to their Rebel Girls podcast to find even more inspiration.
After growing up in Afghanistan and receiving her university education in the United States, Shabana Basij-Rasikh was determined to create the opportunity for girls to be educated in her home country. Fifteen years after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, she opened the campus of SOLA, the first all-girls boarding school in Afghanistan. Over the years, hundreds of girls could study and grow in ways that wouldn’t be possible in traditional schools in Kabul. However, with the return of the Taliban in 2021, students and administrators were no longer safe, and the school was forced to relocate. Rwanda, a recently war-torn nation rising out of the ashes of a brutal war, welcomed the school with open arms. Though the organization dreams of returning to Afghanistan, Basij-Rasikh and her staff have defied all odds and created a safe-haven for Afghan girls that are scattered around the world. SOLA is a true model of fortitude and determination giving way to hope.
What do you do when you don’t have access to menstrual hygiene products? Have you ever considered how that can affect your day-to-day life? The fact that tampons, pads and other supplies are taxed in 30 states makes the products even more out of reach for many. The Period Project, started in 2015, aims to increase access to free supplies for girls in school and women in shelters and the unhoused. They connect with principals, school nurses and community organizers to break down barriers to this often taboo subject. Learn how you can host a “packing party” and create a difference in your community.
Let this be the year to find your own way to empower young girls in your community. It hasn’t been that long since you were a girl yourself – wide-eyed and eager to learn about the world around you. Whether you were lucky enough to benefit from mentor or not, you can be that caring person to someone who has the strength, courage and skills to change the world.