This has been a special week for girls! Yesterday Malala Yousafzai, along with Kailash Satyarthi, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As an activist for the right of girls to education, she has shown by example that youth can contribute to improving their own situations. Kailish Satyarthi has also championed the rights of children, seeking to rid India of child slavery and liberating more than 75,000 bonded and child laborers in the country. “Poverty must not be used as an excuse to continue child labor and exploitation of children," he said when learning of his award.
And today is International Day of the Girl Child. In 2011, United Nations General Assembly declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. According to the UN, “Girls face discrimination and violence every day across the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.”
This year, the UN marks the occasion by calling for an end the scourge of violence against adolescent girls and to promote their empowerment by:
- Investing in adolescent girls to equip them with skills, confidence, and life options: through family, schools, technical and vocational education and training, and health, social and economic support systems;
- Making infrastructure, services, and technology accessible to girls and effective in meeting their needs for safety, connectivity and mobility;
- Facilitating adolescent girls engagement in civic, economic and political life;
- Continuing to advocate for making violence against girls and women visible and unacceptable both in private and public domains; and strengthening data, measurement and the evidence base in relation to the empowerment of and violence against adolescent girls.
Like their mothers, we are so proud of the daughters of Mayan Hands artisans who have chosen to pursue an education. With the help of their families and the financial support of donors, these bright and articulate young women will have the potential to create better futures for themselves and their communities.
Each year we have more applicants for scholarships. If you would like to support a Mayan girl;s education, please consider a donation to Mayan Hands Education Fund.