6 Awesome Reasons To Celebrate International Day Of The Girl

Tracy Ramsden

Photo of Emma Watson at her HeForShe speech

The fight against FGM is finally gathering pace

And hurrah for that. On this year's International Day of The Girl, the Department for International Development has launched The Girl Generation: Together To End FGM, a new campaign to stamp out FGM in Africa for good. The five-year programme will work in ten countries including Kenya, Burkina Faso and Nigeria to raise awareness and stage events to accelerate the race to end FGM in a generation. With advertising powerhouse Ogilvy and Mather Africa and charities Equality Now and Forward running the show, expect big things, and fast.

Boys are totally on our side

Emma Watson's pretty immense ‘if not me, who? If not now, when?’ UN speech on gender equality summed it up best. Boys, we need you. Celebs including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Douglas Booth and Tom Hiddlestone have since tweeted their support for the #HeForShe campaign. And with initiatives like Cambridge University’s introduction of classes to educate young men on consent (and the disbanding of London School of Economics’ rugby team after they were called out as a massive bunch of sexist numpties) things will only get better. Nice one, guys.


We are passing the baton to the next gen

This year’s International Day of The Girl sees The Southbank Centre holding a speed mentoring event for girls on the London Eye. With mentors including Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands, Baroness Lawrence and Southbank Centre creative director Jude Kelly on the panel, that's some serious career (and indeed, life) skills to learn. Fancy getting involved? Every month, Marie Claire @work offers a once-in-a-lifetime mentoring opportunity for one lucky reader. With past Marie Claire mentors including MiH jeans founder Chloe Lonsdale, shoe designer Atlanta Weller, Jaguar Land Rover chief engineer Danella Bagnall, and head of marketing at John Lewis Rachel Swift, you should probably get involved. Check out the current issue of Marie Claire for your chance to be mentored, or apply here.

Plan UK continues to put girl's rights where they can't be ignored

Consider for a second that women lead just 19 of the world’s 196 countries; that a girl is forced to marry once every two seconds; and that 65 million girls worldwide are not in school, and you’ll see why it’s important that the conversation surrounding girls' rights keeps going. In celebration of International Day of the Girl, Plan UK have today set up a pop up photobooth in the centre of London’s Waterloo and Liverpool Street Stations, to raise awareness of their campaign and new app ‘Face Up’. The app, that you can try out here, allows you to put women’s issues where people can’t ignore them, scrawled across your own face, taking selfies to a serious new level. Celebrities Natalie Dormer, Beverley Knight and Marie Claire’s editor-in-chief Trish Halpin have all ‘faced-up’ today. Have you? Share your #FaceUp pics with us and Plan UK on Twitter

We've got an ace line-up of role models serving up some serious girl power

Angelina Jolie has made incredible progress in the fight against rape as a weapon of war. And hot on the heels of Emma Watson’s work on gender equality, Victoria Beckham was named a UN goodwill ambassador and has been shining a light on issues facing children with HIV and AIDS. But it’s not just about celebrities showing us what they’re made of, women are owning it across the board, paving the way for a brighter future – Lena Dunham rolled out not only the most obsessed-over TV show on earth, but also the year’s most hotly anticipated book, Not That Kind of Girl. Elsewhere, Charlotte Gainsbourg fronted Louis Vuitton’s fall campaign, flying the flag for stylish fortysomethings everywhere. Sam Taylor-Johnson landed 2015’s biggest movie directorship (love it or hate it, you can't ignore Fifty Shades), oh and uber-successful international human rights barrister Amal Alamuddin broke a million male hearts when she married some actor. Go girls.

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