ATLANTA -- Girls around the world are using #ProudToBeaGirl to commemorate International Day of the Girl Child.
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On December 19,2011, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring October 11th a day to recognize girls' rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. For its second observance, this year will focus on "Innovating Girls' Education."
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According to the United Nations, there has been significant progress in improving girls' access to education over the last two decades. However, many girls continue to be deprived of education because of their sex. Even in countries where girls are allowed to be educated, safety-related, financial, institutional, and cultural barriers remain major obstacles.
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Day of the Girl-US is spreading information through social media as a wake up call:
*In America, 41% of Latina students do not get a high school diploma in four years.
*In the US, more than half of girls in grades 7-12 report being sexually harassed.
*Worldwide, 150 million girls have experienced abuse.
*In the US, more than half of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about appearance and 37% worry about weight. Girls also view power, acceptance, and success connected to physical appearance rather than academic achievements.
*One in seven girls in developing counties is married before her 15th birthday.
*By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world's adult population who are illiterate, cannot do basic math, or participate fully in society.
Joan King heads the Atlanta Girls school. "We know that a lot of girls live in families that live on less than a dollar a day," she said. "our girls really do care about their sisters elsewhere in the world."
It's a graduation requirement at Atlanta Girls School that each girl study in another country. Each one of these teens has already gone to India, Kenya or Ecuador. They are using what they learned on those trips to commemorate Day of the Girl.
"In the country of Ghana," King said. "One of our girls discovered, that nearly 70% of the food is grown by women farmer, but only 1% of the farmland is owned by women."
Lish Earnest talks about her trip to Kenya: "You weren't supposed to show your shoulders or your neck or your collar or your knees and that took some adjusting for me because I'm just so used to it."
Student Kate Zahniser-Word said sometimes the effects on girls are less obvious, "The Indian culture. It definitely takes a toll on girls' confidence."
Sixteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai has become a major voice for Day of the Girl. She was shot in the face by members of the Taliban for speaking out about the need for girls to have access to education. She continues to speak out: "We have seen terrorism, and we know that education is important, and we know that the terrorists were afraid of the power of education."
Kate Zahniser-Word sums up what the day means to her: "It's becoming more aware in other developing countries that women do have a voice and they do have something to say and something important and something intelligent."
To spread that pride, girls are encouraged to send in photos and tweets with #ProudToBeaGirl.