girls-empowerment

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Day of the Girl celebrations, events, and activities are starting! How can we help empower girls around the world? Join the U.S. Department of State’s October 9th Google Hangout at 7:30 am ET! U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell and girls from around the world will discuss challenges and opportunities to empower adolescent girls to achieve their full potential!

Want to join the conversation? Use the hashtag ‪#‎DayoftheGirl‬ to join the conversation on social media. This year’s United Nations #DayoftheGirl theme focuses on empowering girls and ending cycles of violence. Learn more here.

The Octavia Project, aka my new obsession

In the midst of all the hardship and hurt we’re trying to live with right now, check out this completely rad program. In a nutshell:

The Octavia Project uses girls’ passion in science fiction, fantasy, fan-fiction, and gaming to teach them skills in science, technology, art, and writing, equipping them with skills to dream and build new futures for themselves and their communities. 

I mean, right? Through free summer programs, teenage girls in Brooklyn will connect creativity and critical thinking with engineering, programming, and other STEM-skills, while working with women in science and tech. And, yes, the name is inspired by who you think it is: 

Our inspiration and namesake is Octavia E. Butler, who broke barriers in writing and science fiction to become an award-winning and internationally recognized author (Kindred, Lilith’s Brood). We are inspired by her visions of possible futures and commitment to social justice.

They’re trying to raise $12k by May 1, and are just over halfway there. I’ve already put my money where my mouth is, because I know they’re gonna fucking rock this shit. Support them through IndieGoGo, spread the word here or elsewhere, watch this video of N. K. Jemisin talking about why this matters, or come to the launch party Wednesday 4/29 in Brooklyn. 

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When we say ‘tech’, you say GIRLS! Our phenomenally talented group of 24 TechGirls from the Middle East and North Africa visited some of the coolest, most innovative people on earth last week: tumblr staff!

At tumblr headquarters, Caitlin Abber of MTV moderated a panel for their visit. As she says, “the TechGirls were super enthusiastic about asking the panelists a wide range of questions. They wanted to know about the next steps in their careers, the hardest parts of the job, and what their future tech-related aspirations are. While the panelists answers were all great, it was when the microphone was turned on the TechGirls themselves that the event became truly inspirational." 

Read Caitlin’s entire piece about the event here

Great image by @peacecorps Volunteer Ann Eaton of these smiling school girls in Benin. There are 112 volunteers in Benin working with their communities on projects in education, environment, health, and community economic development. #africa #school #letgirlslearn #benin #culture #smile #peacecorps http://bit.ly/1wQWADd

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“Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty’s really no picnic either, it’s easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl’s self-confidence.

We’re kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.

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“The world needs more girls like you growing up to lead our parliaments and board rooms.” —First Lady Michelle Obama

Today in London, the First Lady visited a school to participate in a discussion on Let Girls Learn. To educate a girl is to build a healthier family, a stronger community, and a brighter future. Unfortunately today, 62 million girls around the world are not in school. Half of them are adolescents.

We know that countries with more girls in secondary school tend to have lower maternal mortality rates, lower infant mortality rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDS, and better child nutrition. But too often, a girl who could change her world for the better is locked out of that future by the circumstances of her birth or the customs of her community.

You can watch today’s discussion here and catch live highlights from the First Lady’s visit by following @FLOTUS on Twitter.

AT&T made a $1 million contribution to Girls Who Code, a nonprofit that seeks to bridge the gender gap in technology by equipping girls with computing skills. The donation will help the organization expand beyond its current outposts in five U.S. states.

Since their start in 2012, 3,000 girls have graduated from Girls Who Code clubs and camps across the country, with 95 percent of the students wanting to major in computer science in college. “It has made becoming a computer scientist seem possible,” said Anah Lewi, one of the graduates.

During the organization’s summer program, high school girls learned to code, worked on programming robots and met with women working in technology and engineering.

Read more via The Daily Beast.

“I took this photograph of Regina, a 14-year-old indigenous K'iche’ girl who, instead of attending school, was obligated to eke out a living as a nanny for my neighbor’s infant daughter, Alejandra (in arms). In my rural site in Guatemala, girls assume domestic responsibilities at an early age and are far less likely than their male counterparts to continue their studies.”