Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle Salutes Girls for "Day of the Girl"

October 10, 2012

This week, October 11 marks the inaugural Day of the Girl.  The Day of the Girl is about highlighting, celebrating, discussing, and advancing girls lives and opportunities across the globe. In Seattle as well, many events are planned and Mayor Mike McGinn has declared this Thursday "Day of the Girl" as well.

"History shows that it hasn’t ever been easy to be a girl, and, despite awesome changes in the status and perception of women and girls, herstory is still a complicated and challenging one.” – School Girls Unite

In a world that has a day for everything – from Valentine’s to Edgar Allen Poe to Toasted Marshmallows - isn’t it about time we had a day devoted to girls everywhere?

Studies show that children and youth spend only 20 percent of their waking hours in school.  How girls spend the remaining 80 percent has profound implications on their well-being and future.  The Northwest Girls Coalition works to strengthen the girl-serving community by fostering education and collaboration in the Puget Sound region. They do this by building a knowledgeable, connected network of organizations and individuals who support girls.

In Seattle, this network includes programs such as the following:
  • Seattle Girls School inspires and develops courageous leaders who think independently, work collaboratively, learn joyfully, and champion change
  • Rain City Rock Camp for Girls is dedicated to building positive self-esteem in girls and encouraging creative expression through music
  • The EdLab Group is dedicated to educational innovation, developing and implementing programs and projects that create meaningful and widespread impact
  • Lake Washington Girls Middle School prepares girls to be confident young women, strong in mind, body, and voice 
  • Mercy Housing develops, finances, and operates affordable, program-enriched housing for families, seniors and people with special needs who lack the economic resources to access quality, safe housing opportunities

I’ve been lucky enough to be a Big Sister, a Running Buddy, a Mentor, and now Leadership Council President for the Coalition, and I encourage you to get involved so you can experience first-hand the transformative power of helping girls.  Locally, you can support the Powerful Voices Day of the Girl Luncheon, stop by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center to learn about the role of girls in African agriculture, join Global WA in their Stand for Girls!, be inspired by Wonder Women with Reel Grrls, and meet members of the Northwest Girls Coalition to wrap-up the day with others who share your passion.

Let’s make October 11 a day to celebrate the girl and ensure all girls realize their full potential.

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