International Day of the Girl to Span the Year

The International Day of the Girl official is in the fall, but will be celebrated by the Sion community in this coming winter.


Ava Rawson , Print Co-Editor-in-Chief

The International Day of the Girl celebrated  Oct. 11 across the globe was declared by the United Nations in 2011 with the purpose of highlighting and addressing the challenges and needs of women and girls all over the world, while promoting girls’ empowerment according to the United Nations resolution on their Day of the Girl.

“It is really important, especially at Sion we have a lot of girls coming of age and not really knowing much about female empowerment and a lot of the problems with things like the me too movement,” president of GirlUp senior Lydia Parsa said. “ I think it is really important to spread awareness to younger girls so as they grow up they can become activists in their communities.”

The school’s plans to celebrate the International Day of the Girl are headed by an all female committee made up of 15 members of both the faculty and staff who have been meeting intermittently since the conception over the summer. The committee’s inspiration to draw attention to this day came from a trip taken by a select few staff members over the summer to Washington DC, according to Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction and committee member Ellen Carmody.

“We went to the National Coalition of Girls Schools conference in DC,” Carmody said. “It is a global conference and we thought from being inspired from that. We wanted to focus on girls’ education here.” 

The theme for the 2018 day of the girl is With Her: A Skilled GirlForce putting an emphasis on girls entering the workforce in developing countries where women work in informal and habitually exploitative cycles of work and women working in sectors that have been historically predominantly male professions. The committee decided to apply the theme by basing it on the international aspect, focusing heavily on the school’s own connections to young women all around the world.

“International Day of the Girl tied in really well to the idea of what are girls doing around the world to be educated and to build a skilled GirlForce, a skilled workforce of girls.“ Carmody said.

Although the International Day of the girl is celebrated on Thursday Oct. 11, the high school will not be celebrating this day of observance until January according to high school counselor and committee member Karen Phillips. This is because of the scheduling conflicts that present themselves at the beginning of the year, especially with the inception of two open houses for the first time this year, with the first landing the day before the Day of the Girl, according to Phillips. Moving the date to January allows for the day to not be overshadowed by the other  events, as well as tying it in with the school’s mission and inception.

“With it in January it can have a connection to feast day,” Phillips said. “So if we were going to pick a different time, that would be a logical time to do it.”

As to what is being planned for the January date is everything from an all school movie, to a walk-a-thon, to food truck competitions. With the overall drive being that getting students involved is a priority for the initiative come January. With every teacher involved getting assigned an aspect of the event to recruit students for.

“We would like for the students to actually help lead the activities,” Carmody said.

Even though the event may not be until second semester, the teachers are already doing their homework and reading up on girls’ education. Their commitment to learning more about girls’ education going beyond their reading homework, and even their choice of one of three films to watch over how to further empower female education. The faculty is expected to volunteer their time to helping with the school’s plans for the school’s International Day of the Girl in January, attend a young women’s leadership conference, or have their own research based project according to Carmody.  

“At Sion I think our strongest draw is that we are really stepped in a relational pedagogy,” Carmody said. “We really believe that learning happens when relationships are built. So our whole thing is to know our students as well as we can and know each other, because when you know the other then you can teach and you can learn from each other.”