Today marks the 10th International Day of the Girl. The Day increases awareness about gender-based issues experienced by girls all over the world; issues such as unequal access to education and nutrition, and vulnerability to forced child marriage.
Each year, this occasion also serves as a reminder to take action and reflect on how global efforts have empowered girls from every corner of the world to find their voices. At Yellow Beauty, we have partnered with changemakers like Plan International Canada to support underserved young women. The cause is close to our heart and we’d like to share more about it with you.
How did the day start?
International Day of the Girl was inspired by Plan International Canada’s Because I Am a Girl campaign, which addresses the issue of gender discrimination throughout the world. A coalition of Canadian supporters spread awareness about the cause; Plan International encouraged the United Nations to get involved. The Day was proposed at a resolution with the sponsorship of Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister for the Status of Women.
The resolution, which passed in 2011, states: “...empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community…”
How are we involved?
Our brand was inspired by the history of turmeric-based skincare in Bangladesh. But, in exploring the country’s history and culture, we discovered a troubling fact: 70% of Bangladeshi girls are married before their 18th birthday. In fact, Bangladesh has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world. This vicious cycle is fueled by poverty and unequal access to education and economic opportunities.
We believe these girls have a right to choose, to voice their opinions. That’s why we partnered with Plan International Canada and contribute 10% of our profits to their important work in advancing equality for girls.
A bright spot: Keya
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals has called for global action to end child marriage by 2030. The global pandemic has slowed progress. But, since this day is also about reflecting on positive change, let’s meet Keya.
Keya is a 17 year old girl from Bangladesh, sponsored by our partner Plan International. Many girls in Keya’s community are forced into early marriage. Consequently, they’re also forced to drop out of school and have children before they’re ready.
Thankfully, Keya is changing the story. Access to education and Plan International funded peer groups has empowered Keya and her peers to learn more about their rights and challenge gender roles.This freedom has allowed Keya to explore a new passion: karate. The activity continues to motivate her to forge her own path.
She wants to finish her education before she starts to think about marriage. She has been offered a choice that many others before her never got.
Keya has inspired to other girls and has even used her voice to work with local leaders and authorities to put an end to child marriage once and for all. We hope to help others like her be heard.
On this International Day of Girl, let’s take some time to reflect on both the progress and the work yet to do in addressing gender inequality. If you’re looking to take action and help girls like Keya, consider sponsoring a child.