International Day of the Girl: Be proud of yourself and fight for your rights to be respected

Mariam Aldianabangou, during World Children's Day in 2019

Girls everywhere are already changing the world. This Day Of The Girl (Oct 11) join us by giving a shout out or writing a letter to a girl who inspires you: a young leader, a family member, an influencer, your best friend or even yourself as a teen! 

"My name is Mariam Aldianabangou, I'm a 18-year-old girl from Mali, and l am proud of the girl that I was and certainly of the woman that I would be!

I am sharing this letter with all the girls around the world to encourage them to be proud of who they are:

In our society, the girl is minimized, often mistreated, but through my advocacy within the National Children's Parliament of Mali, I have discovered the extent of my capacities as a young girl. I understood that we girls have same potential as boys and even we can go beyond.

Over the last 12 years, I had the opportunity within the Children's Parliament, to advocate for children’s rights, particularly those of girls at national and international level. Today I solemnly take this moment, the “Day of the Girl” to urge all the organizations advocating for girls’ rights to education, protection, health, to strengthen what has already been laid down for a flourishing childhood and adolescence for every girl no matter where they may be.

Be proud of yourself and fight for your rights to be respected. We must tell ourselves that our roles don't end with homework or being a mom. As a future mother, you will play the role of educator and why not then the role of Deputy, Minister and even President!

Be courageous and continue advocating until violence against girls is no longer kept in silence, unpunished and is seen as normal! There is only one way to fail, and that is to give up before you succeed. Nothing great has been accomplished without passion. In this life, you can only achieve great things if you start doing small things but with a lot of love. So, love what you are doing!

Be strong and never forget who you are and be confident in yourself! You should never give up on what you really want to do or achieve. A person with big dreams is much stronger than a person who has already accomplished everything. People will doubt what you say but they will believe in what you do!

I believe in you, so believe in yourself!