Women of the world celebrate the UN International Day of the Girl

Prepare to be inspired...

Today marks the UN International Day of the Girl, an opportunity to empower the future generation of women, celebrating their potential and enabling them to succeed, while demanding a world where girls and boys have equal opportunities.

Back for its seventh consecutive year, the International Day of the Girl promises exciting events across the globe, with London kicking off the celebrations this morning with the return of the Women of the World (WOW) festival.

© Belinda Lawley / Southbank Centre

© Belinda Lawley / Southbank Centre

The annual event, hosted by the Southbank Centre, started this morning with an 8am mass speed mentoring session on the London Eye, seeing 250 London schoolgirls paired with 250 inspirational female mentors from a wide range of industries, everything from film to engineering, politics to sport, activism to fashion.

Each girl was matched at random with three different mentors in her capsule and had three 15-minute mentoring sessions during two complete rotations of the London Eye. Among the mentors were some influential faces, including Juliet Stevenson, Lily Cole, Kelly Hoppen, Sara Pascoe, Mary Portas, Helen Pankhurst and Sharmadean Reid – and, for the first time in the event’s history, female politicians from six major political parties, giving the girls political role models they could actually relate to.

Instagram/stellacreasy

Instagram/stellacreasy

For the rest of the day, the schoolgirls, aged 11-18 and coming from 30 different schools, have been invited to attend an inspirational afternoon of creative workshops, debates, discussions and performances at Southbank Centre. Covering the subject of female leadership and how to make a change, however big or small, the day promises to be an unforgettable one, with Caitlin Moran bringing the celebrations to a close in the Royal Festival Hall, presenting her ‘Moranifesto For Girls’, empowering the young girls to be fearless and change the future.

© Belinda Lawley / Southbank Centre

© Belinda Lawley / Southbank Centre

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