October 11th is International Day of the Girl, a day where we celebrate young women and promote equality. I have a lot of opinions about this day, about feminism, and about the importance of fostering a desire of equality in both boys and girls. I currently live in a country that used to be a Peace Corps Let Girls Learn country before Trump cut the funding (that hasn’t stopped me from doing Let Girls Learn activities). Let me give you a little background about Let Girls Learn.

It is very common in countries around the world to force girls to stop their schooling and instead get married. This happens because parents are unable to afford school fees and because once a girl is married the husband begins to take responsibility for the girl and the parents no longer have that financial responsibility. I have talked to several students at my school who have told me that they are afraid that they are going to be forced out of school and forced to get married. So the purpose of Let Girls Learn was to foster and encourage equality for boys and girls and to also encourage girls to stay in school. We reached out to parents and family as well to encourage them to help their daughters to stay in school. We also explained to the parents the benefit of having educated women in society and that education goes way beyond just preparation for a career but it teaches them life skills and what they’ll need to know to one day have a family.

International Day of the Girl is a very special day for me and not just because I am a girl but because it raises awareness to the fact that not all girls have the same opportunities as the girls in America or some other countries. I just wish that it was talked about a little bit more. When people talk about feminism they talk about the issues and struggles for women in America but the struggles of women in other countries and honestly its far worse or them. Now, it’s not all bad. Like for example there are some bad ass, powerful women in the country that I live in but they struggle with women equality still and I believe it to be worse here then it is in America. However, this is just my opinion.

In other countries, like the one I live in, the biggest form of inequality is that girls are forced to quit school and get married. This is ridiculously unfair and something that needs to stop as soon as possible. Girls deserve the opportunity to fight for their dreams just like men do. Girls deserve the opportunity to one day become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, singer, artist, nurse, pilot, or anything that they want the most. They don’t deserve to be forced to get married and quit going to school in order to have a family. Especially because it is extremely important for women to have the knowledge to take care of their children well and when they are forced out of school they don’t always have that knowledge.

Last thing about feminism, if you are trying to build up women and girls and create an equal society you CANNOT put men down in the process. That doesn’t create equality instead it creates a disconnect between men and women and that defeats the purpose. So be a feminist but don’t turn down men instead encourage men to fight alongside us for equality.