Since 2012, 11th October has been marked as International Day of the Girl Child to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. WOW has been celebrating ever since, with events around the world organised by our global network.
This year, it was brilliant to see WOWs all over the world celebrating International Day of the Girl. We launched out first ever WOW Girls Festival in the UK, saw a two day festival in Brisbane, Australia and the launch of a new campaign in Athens, Greece.
WOW Australia presented Voices Shaping the Future at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, a two day celebration of conversations, performances and workshops by and for young women, as well as their own WOW Speed Mentoring on the Brisbane Wheel. Presented in partnership with QPAC, the Global Institute for Women's Leadership (GIWL) and the Australian Human Rights Commission, this event was dedicated to elevating the voices of young women and addressing pressing issues surrounding gender inequality and intersecting injustices.
Conversations included 'Boys will be boys', unpacking issues around toxic masculinities, incel culture and male mental health and 'The Changemakers, Taking the Lead' which looked at traditional models of leadership and how we can find leaders all around us if we know what to look for. There was a discussion about gender equality in sport with a panel of young sport stars and behind the scenes professionals, and a panel about the word 'The F word' - feminist. They also hosted the Global Institute for Women's Leadership's National Youth Summit for passionate young people aged 18-30 to share the most pressing gender-based issues facing this generation. And of course a brilliant concert by Spinifex Gum featuring Marliya, showcasing the harmony of young Indigenous female singers from Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait. It was a brilliant two days of optimism, activism and celebration - well done WOW Australia!
Over in Greece, the WOW Athens team launched their new Instagram channel and a call out to girls in Greece to submit writing for inclusion in their next Festival. Aimed at girls aged 13 - 17, they are looking for words and stories from across the country that introduce us to the world through the eyes of girls, to share the obstacles and stereotypes they encounter every day and what inspires you, moves you and makes you dream. If you're not based in Greece, check out The WOW Foundation's global call out for our new anthology - Girls to the World: Letters for Change. SNFCC - the home of WOW Athens - also launched an online education resource all about gender inequalities, so check that out too!