Generations of incredible women have created a change and a community in which the dehumanization of women is intolerable. It’s crazy to think that a hundred years ago in Canada, women weren’t even legally considered persons. Today that notion has long faded in Canada, but the same can’t be said for places around the world. International Girls Day is on October 11, of every year to recognize girls’ rights, and the challenges they face in society.

The UN believes that girls should have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not just as youth but also as they flourish into young women. The UN emphasizes importance on this day to bring attention to the changing role of women in society and how they hold power to create a generation of change. Empowered girls of today have the potential to be tomorrow’s mothers, entrepreneurs, political leaders, and much more. Educated women, even in societies where it is not a norm, have already proven to do great things. Take Noble Peace Prize recipient Malala Yousafzai, as just one example, from the millions.

To create the society that you want to live in, it is important to exercise your right to vote; the same right that countries have gone to war to get. It is important to read into party promises, and see what the party has done for our society, and surrounding countries in the pass. It’s time we do away with politicians who silence women, and single out people of race and culture. We need leaders who not only listen to the needs of their people, but also follow through. It is important to make sure the politicians we elects have the best interest of their people. We need to elect leaders who recognize the needs of women in today’s society. Politicians who give women a choice when it comes to carrying children, equality in the workforce, and belief in the change they can make.

It is also important to stand by women in a society where they love to pit women against each other. Celebrate each woman’s success, and women who break the barriers of society’s norm and redefine the role of women in society and in mainstream media. Every time she’s the nurse and he’s the doctor, she’s the assistant and he’s the CEO, and every time she’s the damsel in distress and he’s the hero, their sending a message; women can’t. But the truth is we’re a generation full of Katniss Everdeens, and we’re already breaking barriers and paving our own path.
Happy Girls Day. To celebrate all girls, and their right to a safe, healthy, and educated life. To every girls individual journey, and every girls right.
Special Thanks to GEM, for creating a community where they empower girls to come together and reach their full potential.

Tabassum Lakhi currently attends Marc Garneau C.I. and is a Creative Writing Intern at GEM.