United Nations’ International Day of the Girl
In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 to be International Day of the Girl to recognize the unique challenges girls face around the world and to promote girls’ empowerment. The 2021 theme is “technology” and how it can empower girls to create change. It serves as a reminder that throughout the year we must be committed to celebrating and lifting up young women in The Clubhouse community.
The STEM Access Gap
According to the UN, “the world is home to more than 1.1 billion girls under age 18, who are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders.” However, young women have less access to STEM resources than men. The UN also reports that:
- 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have internet access at home, with girls more likely to be cut off.
- Globally, the percentage of females among Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates is below 15 percent in over two-thirds of countries.
- And in middle and higher-income countries, only 14 percent of girls who were top performers in science or mathematics expected to work in science and engineering compared to 26 percent of top-performing boys.
Whether it’s targeted programming, guest speakers, or creating a culture of daily inclusion, Clubhouses around the world are supporting young women by granting them access to the tools and resources to explore their interests and express themselves. The Clubhouse is here to validate the gifts and talents of young women.
Making Space for Young Women to Thrive
Right now, there are ways we can all support young women in The Clubhouse and other spaces.
- Engage women in STEAM fields and leadership positions to serve in mentoring roles so that young women can see themselves represented.
- Create leadership opportunities, whether it’s by building youth leadership councils or making space for young women on existing boards.
- Create exclusive times and spaces for young women to explore technology without judgment.
- Continue sharing stories that celebrate the accomplishments of women of all ages, both to balance the historical record and to inspire new generations.
Men of all ages must also learn to listen to and amplify the voices of women and girls. They must learn to step aside to make space for young women.
We applaud our Clubhouses for all that they do to support young women by providing them access to the tools and resources to explore their interests and express themselves. And, we know that there is still so much more to be done. Our Clubhouses and our youth have the power to advance the rights of young women.
This is just a sample of how Clubhouses are creating spaces and opportunities for young women.