"We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all the civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States, be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever."
~ Susan B. Anthony, Declaration of Rights for Women, July 1876
International Women's Day, March 8, 2009, marks an occasion for celebration as well as critical reflection on the world's progress towards achieving gender equity. In the U.S., women still face violence, systematic discrimination and inequality. Taking the Lead: Girls' Rights in the 21st Century, a nationally representative survey, chronicles how outmoded stereotypes place roadblocks in the paths of young girls. Of the almost 36 million girls age 18 and under living in the U.S., approximately 60% of them say that they experience stereotypes that limit their right to be themselves. Importantly, girls experiencing these gender barriers have a lower quality of life and less confidence in their futures.
As teachers and parents, we know that education is fundamental to changing the status quo. Education can empower young women and give them the skills and confidence to counter damaging stereotypes, violence and discrimination. In honor of IWD, this Girls' Rights Edition is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the rights of women and ensuring that every girl and young woman has the right to be herself and achieve her full potential.