One of our Literacy Champions and partner, LitWorld, has shared with us information on an amazing campaign called Stand Up for Girls. We believe that every child has a right to literacy, so we wanted to share their important message here.
Tomorrow is the International Day of the Girl, sanctioned by the United Nations to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Around the world, the number of girls who are not in school hovers around 66 million. LitWorld’s Stand Up for Girls campaign mobilizes girls and boys, men and women to advocate for every girl's right to tell her story to change the world.
It is a matter of life and death when girls are denied the right to read and write and to learn all that they need and want to know. In developing countries, 1 in 7 girls marries before the age of 15, and pregnancy and childbirth are the number one killer of 15-19-year-old girls. The right to literacy is a form of protection. People who can read to understand their choices, and write to define them and to share them are powerful in a civil society.
Why is girls’ literacy so urgently important? As stated by Gordon Brown, literacy is the goal of goals, a foundational human right from which all other freedoms can be attained. The right to literacy is a form of protection, allowing girls to understand their choices, and write to define them and to share them. The benefits of educating girls reap better health and economic outcomes for family, community and society as a whole.
LitWorld was launched in 2007 to empower the most isolated, at-risk and impoverished communities with a new vision of what literacy could mean to each and every person. At the heart of literacy is this: that stories and words are a mirror and a window. The girls in LitWorld’s LitClubs read and write to find out who they are, to see that stories can inspire them, and make them feel less alone. They can read and write to look out at the world, to imagine it as one of possibility for themselves and for their families. Through these programs, the world becomes a hopeful place.
Everyone can get involved in building the “safety net” for girls worldwide. Individuals hold tremendous power, and if we all stand up together for the human right of literacy the potential for rapid change is amplified exponentially.
So stand up for your mother, your mentor, your friend or your daughter. Stand up and raise your voice for educational rights. Use social media to tell friends and about the global education crisis and the Stand Up for Girls movement. All of the resources that you need to lead the Stand Up for Girls movement in your community are available at litworld.org.