International Day of the Girl Child is October 11. Each year since it was declared by the United Nations in 2012, the day has been centered on a different theme of girls rights. In 2012 it was ending child marriage, in 2013 it was innovating for girls education, and this year 2014 the theme is “Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”.

If you are wondering what this is all about, search the hashtag #BrighterFuture. People are using social media to express the importance of equality for girls, and specifically what needs to change in the current global practice of gender inequality. Here’s a few of my favourite examples:

The Day of the Girl is about the celebration of girls, to bring awareness to the needs and rights of girls and to bring action and investment in improving girls’ lives.

A major position of the campaign is that improving gender equality and girls’ rights has a domino effect: they grow to be women with healthier children and a higher earning ability, which lifts not only themselves, but also their children and entire community out of poverty. You see, girls’ equality is the key to ending world poverty. These infographics from Because I Am A Girl help to illustrate this point:

 Day of Girl - Why Girls Infographic Day of Girl - Why Girls Infographic Day Of Girl - cycle of poverty infographic

So what can you do to help? Sponsor a girl, make a one-time donation, or purchase a “Gift of Hope” from a $10 bed net to prevent malaria to purchasing a goat for a family to sending a girl to school, find all the options here:

Some communities and groups are also organizing events and fundraisers in honor of the day, so look for what’s happening in your area that you can participate in.

And if you can’t personally donate, or would like to encourage others to do so, raise awareness for free by sharing the message on social media. Share the infographics, use the hashtag #brighterfuture and be sure to share the images from the Because I Am a Girl-Sears campaign — for every share of these notes of inspiration on Facebook, or retweets of the images on Twitter, Sears will donate $1 to send girls in developing countries to school.

I hope this has helped at least one person to understand the importance of the International Day of the Girl Child, and to take action in some form. Let us know in the comments what you are doing for IDGC October 11!

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