March 8 is the UN's official International Women's Day. In honor of the ladeez, "girl power" is getting a global makeover.
Thanks to past generations of fierce females who fought the good fight, young women in the Western world embrace their rights to education, medical care and social equality. There are hundreds of millions of girls around the world who don't have those opportunities, though--girls who can't reach their full potential simply because there's no access to services.
This year, the United Nations Foundation launched a new initiative called Girl Up designed to empower young women here in America to stand up for their sisters around the world.
As one of the program's teen advisory members, Katherine Cochran is moved by the scale of the project. "I've seen girls' potential and how much one girl can do. When I imagine 600 million girls helping another 600 million, it overwhelms me with excitement. We are all girls, so we should feel responsible for helping all of them."
The campaign asks young people to learn the facts, spread the word and offer support however they are able. Yes, fundraising is part of it. To build infrastructure, pay for schools and back up social service initiatives in developing countries, the UN needs cash. But don't worry if you're short on dough; donating isn't the only way to help. Follow the initiative's High Five plan of action for five simple ways to get involved. Top of the list? Learn the facts. Next up: Share them.
Erica Lamberson, another Girl Up teen advisor, praises the campaign's approach to realities that can be hard to face. "It provides a positive outlook on these issues. Even though there are horrible things going on in our world, it is essential to stay positive when trying to make positive solutions."
Well said, ladies. Find out more ways you can celebrate Women's Day below.