Freedom, Freedom, where are you? Cause I need freedom too!
The lyrics above are from the Beyoncé song Freedom, which provides the backing music to a video released today in recognition of the International Day of the Girl. The day is meant to highlight and address the specific needs and challenges that girls face across the globe.
The video focuses on the importance of #freedomforgirls and highlights a number of the challenges girls are currently facing, including the fact that every five minutes a girl dies as a result of violence, that one in four girls is married as a child, that 71 % of human trafficking victims are female, that 63 Million girls have undergone FGM, and that 130 Million girls are out of school.
All of these facts represent the reality that for the majority of girls around the world, freedom is an abstract concept. They do not have the ability to make their own choices, their choices are determined by circumstances, or by the limitations placed on them in the societies in which they live.
Girls should not be limited. #freedomforgirls for me means the ability of any girl to choose the life she wants. It means access to education, to safe living spaces, to clean water and food. It means not having to be afraid to walk down the street, to ask a question, or to participate in society.
When girls and women are equal participants in society, the risk of insecurity in that society declines. The voices of girls and women cannot be ignored, and need to be recognized. We need to work together to change the circumstances of girls across the globe, to remove the limitations being placed on them, and to ensure that in the future every girl born today has an equal opportunity to succeed.
About the Author
Kate Seaman is the Assistant Director to the Bahá’í Chair for World Peace where she supports the research activities of the Chair. Kate is interested in understanding normative changes at the global level and how these changes impact on the creation of peace.