Today is United Nations International Day of the Girl – promoting gender equality and advocating for girl’s rights all around the world.

“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.”

Here are just some of the reasons why we need the Day of the Girl:

ILLITERACY – By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s (adult) population who cannot read.

SCHOOL DROPOUT – Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school.

FORCED MARRIAGE – One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.

VIOLENCE – In the US more than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18. One in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.Worldwide children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.

BODY IMAGE – More than half (54%) of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight. More than half (57%) of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.

Support the movement by visiting dayofthegirl.org/ and PLAN UK

Today’s society often undervalues the feminine traits of gentleness, empathy, sensitivity, compassion and tolerance. We need to embrace our strengths, our gifts and empower our young girls to do the same.

And so to quote Disney – I am a princess

“I believe compassion makes me strong”

“Kindness is power”

“Family is the tightest bond of all”

I am so proud of my intelligent, kind, compassionate, brave, funny little Princess and encourage her every day to dream big, love herself and be kind to others.