A letter to adolescents, celebrating the International Day of the Girl
Every year, on October 11, UNICEF marks the International Day of the Girl, promoting gender equality and equal opportunities for girls around the world. This year, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, we aim to celebrate it online and reimagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls. Here is Ariana's letter.
To all the girls I’ve met before
Titans of social implication who work 40 hours weeks since middle school, innovative people who chose to showcase their intelligence through academic competition, girls so extroverted that they dazzle you with their energy or quiet individuals that shine brightest during their favourite season
Sometimes we feel the world is letting us down – when we run dark scenarios through our mind or further hearing the same old adages even after combating them with scientific truth
Other times it’s the education system that has us raising our brows – do you still cringe a little when you hear ‘I need some strong boys’ and you interfere “People.You need strong people to lift up these tables. .
And then we get home to hear jokes about how marriage is still a girl’s main fortune in life.
And yet you still raise up to the challenge – no matter how large the percentage of people that try to convince you are on the wrong path, you choose to be yourself, with all the high standards and values it entails.
You search for opportunities, go where your skills are most needed, submit these applications and get the funds to bring about improvement – because when the world goes up in flames, all the girls I’ve met before take their bricks of knowledge, insights, the compassion and the empathy, the social sciences necessary to build a better society and do just that – raise their castle farther away from the fire.
To all the girls,
I have failed you before and I will certainly do it again in the future. I have judged despite telling myself to mind my own business, I had adamant opinions that intervened with your rights, I still have issues flying over my head because I am not empathising enough. My own shortcomings, the rush of staying on top of things or even my regularly checked privilege sometimes lead me to the wrong end of the argument, be it for just a split of a second – but I want you to know that everyday I see the goth girl flawlessly rocking her unapologetic opinions, the hard working medicine student getting involved in social change and that ‘arrogant’ young leader taking back her narrative and I get inspired to be a better listener, a better friend, cousin and stranger.
You do that to me, you do that to your family, to your school and to the world. They say life is a competition – well, I look forward to watching the team you will form, coach.
Ariana - 19 years old, but mentally and emotionally both older and younger – depends on the situation.
National Olympic in Sociology, Second Year Law student – doing it because it is the one of the rare methods of finding paramount information about the mechanism of society and the only way to gain the legal weapons to fight the crucial problems we face on a daily basis.
My dad used to call me Bellu when I was younger, which I found a few years back that means ‘war’ in Latin. Take that and add it to my actual name, which translates to ‘the holiest’ and you get two quite contradictory notions, so you can say I knew pretty early on that I was paradoxical to the limit. But does the limit really exist?