What is Day of the Girl?
October 11 is celebrated internationally as Day of the Girl with the mission “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” It’s a day to come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.
Since 2019, Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas has invited other girl organizations such as Girls Inc., Girls on the Run, PEARL Court, Significant U, The Young Women’s Leadership Academy, YWCA of San Antonio and Martinez Street Women’s Center to unite for a common goal: create awareness in the community and start developing a culture of philanthropy around our girls. Our mission is to be proactive, provide our future leaders, our girls, with the tools they need to become confident women and leaders.
Our mission is imperative since, in 2019, the Status of Women Report in San Antonio showed that San Antonio is the worst city to be a female. Now more than ever, we need to invest in girls. If not, this cycle will continue. The report looked at 13 different dimensions including digital access. This year, the bilingual campaign will highlight all the free resources available to girls and their families to try and close the digital divide that has been evident since the COVID-19 pandemic began. While the pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning, and connecting, some 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 still do not have internet access at home.
Girls are more likely to be cut off. The gender gap for global internet users grew from 11% in 2013 to 17% in 2019. In the world’s least developed countries, it hovers around 43%. But the gender digital divide is about more than connectivity. Girls are also less likely than boys to use and own devices and gain access to tech-related skills and jobs. According to the San Antonio Status of Women Report, 12% of women earned their degree in a STEM field compared to 30% of men. In addition, compared to other metropolitan cities in Texas, San Antonio has the lowest level of access to a computer, the internet, and broadband service amongst Latinos and Blacks. The digital divide is even greater in households headed by a single woman or single man. Only by addressing the inequity and exclusion that span geographies and generations can we usher in a digital revolution for all, with all.
"...Societies lose when young girls and women are shackled to traditional lives that keep them from developing their full social, economic and political potential..."