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On the Bandwgon


On this most recent of International Days of the Girl Child (October 11), we looked to prominent world leaders and activists in support of women and our rights, listening to their impassioned words on our right to be women as fully as men are allowed to be men. Oftentimes, it becomes too easy to get caught up in the big words, the statistics, the arguments for and against cause and effect. In the age of technology, express socially responsible, digital altruism via the small Facebook status essay, or the #DayOfTheGirl hashtag in every other tweet. We read the essays, and applaud Nobel Prize winners, precocious youngsters, and Beyonce, but for many of us, next weekend rolls around and we let the torches we carry for our fellow damsels in distress die out in search of the newest tinder for another.

This year's #IDOTG theme was entitled "Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence," and the United Nations described the year's objective thusly: 
To take efforts to end all forms of violence against girls and women to the next level, it is important that we focus on adolescent girls and move beyond awareness-raising to investments in and support for this 
critical group that will shape the present and the future.
The war against violence, especially of the domestic variety, has really picked up some steam this month with October also being domestic awareness month. Violence against girls & women in our modern society are plentiful and repulsive, and while there have been steps taken to rectify and prevent instances of female-targeted violence, it seems fitting that the United Nations is encouraging adolescent girls and young women (& men) to facilitate a change for the better where it concerns equal opportunity for the female sex.

Undoubtedly, there are a myriad of female figures who admirably braved a great number of odds to cement themselves as powerful trailblazers, both in past and present. However, I am of the firm conviction that neither women nor any other social group should have to spend any part of their lives struggling to attain the same “basic” level of human rights afforded to anyone else, and so it is my sworn duty as a woman, someone of African descent (first generation Nigerian), and a conscientious member of society to do my absolute best to help decimate the seemingly insurmountable obstacles stacked against women worldwide.

As a result, I’m super proud to share One Girl’s ongoing Do It in a Dress campaign for October 2014. Mentioned in an earlier post, the DIIAD campaign encourages participants to find an activity, invite friends, neighbors, and/ or the local community, and perform the aforementioned activity in a school dress not dissimilar to the one worn by school girls in Sierra Leone (buy one here, if you so please). The overall goals of the DIIAD campaign are to raise money to fund the education of a young woman via the chosen activity, as well as to increase and share knowledge with others who may be more immediately removed from issues pertaining to women’s education in disadvantaged communities. As a Digital Ambassador for 2014, I strongly urge you all to join me in this campaign. Personally, I don't currently possess the means to acquire a proper frock from the organization, but a vintage school kilt and some hard brainstorming later, I did take it upon myself to engage in a small handmade accessories project. It's designed to hopefully whet the eccentric fashionista’s appetite while reminding him/her of the Sierra Leonian woman’s struggle  for an education, the fight worldwide for equality for women of all social classes, and the constant focus on human rights, regardless of gender, age, social status, sexual orientation, race, and any other factor that could possibly be used to try to justify the mistreatment of any group of people.
The items I am making for the campaign won’t be available for sale until the end of this month, but One Girl takes gifts for the cause year-round, and actively pushing for the success of girls and women everywhere via this visionary group’s agenda is a commitment that will not be forgotten when relevant hashtags stop trending. Be on the lookout for sneaky updates on the progress of this project on Instagram & Twitter, and please feel free to share any DIIAD campaign activity ideas you have in the comments below!

 P.S. On a scale of 1 to "er...," how pretentious is it that I quoted myself?