Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Celebrating All Girls on International Day of the Girl

October 11, 2013

Today is the second ever International Day of the Girl. As far as I’m concerned, though, any morning when I get to talk to my daughters as they’re getting ready for school is a day I celebrate girls. They want to make the world they live in amazing, and they have a million different ideas of how to achieve that every single day.   

What I like about a formal International Day of the Girl, however, is that it reminds us that girls everywhere have the same ambitions for their futures. Girls everywhere want more for themselves than their societies tell them is reasonable to expect. And girls everywhere—when they have a chance to be themselves—make the world around them better. 

When I was a girl, I didn’t know anything about the hundreds of millions of girls my age living in developing countries. My daughters are a different story. They learn about the Millennium Development Goals in school. They use social media to communicate with people on different continents. They follow the news about girls their age, like Malala, who are fighting against much longer odds to have even a glimpse of the same future. 

On days like today, I get a lot of questions about what people can do to invest in girls and women so they can fulfill their potential and make the world a better place. A great way for all of us to do that is through Catapult, a crowd funding platform for projects that are making a real difference.

If you’re a mother or a father or a sibling of a girl, think about how much you love her and how hopeful you are about her future. Then remember that every girl in the world has a mother and a father who have the same dreams for their girls, and wouldn’t it be great if they could all make those dreams come true.

 
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