Today is International Day of the Girl

Happy Day of the Girl everyone.

I hope you hug the girls in your life extra hard today. Spare a thought too for the millions around the world who don’t get to go to school, who are married off too young, who are forced into sexual slavery, and who are told their whole lives that they are useless, and worth nothing compared to boys.

While we are not a political organization in any way, and we will never be, I think we would be remiss not to connect the meaning of this day with the current presidential race in the United States. The misogyny of Donald Trump, his ‘sexual predator’ behavior, his reducing of women to ‘pigs’ and numbers on a ratings scale – all of this is staring our daughters in the face. That he still has so much support despite this has propelled to the surface the ugly truth that the sinister, rotten culture of disrespect for women and girls, and complete disregard for their rights, is alive and well even in 2016.

At the same time, we have another candidate who is not just capable, but who has shown through decades of public service that she truly cares about the future of this country, and the ability of future generations, both boys and girls, to thrive. She is measured, articulate, thoughtful, extremely intelligent, and she listens when others speak. None of these attributes have got to do with her gender. They are qualities we would admire in a man or woman.

But her gender does matter too, whether we want to admit it or not. To women who have struggled, and continue to struggle for gender equality in our everyday lives. And especially to our young daughters, and nieces, and granddaughters (and I would argue, to many young women in countries across the globe). If Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes the first female president of one of the most powerful nations on earth, she would have broken the ultimate glass ceiling. What this would represent to our young girls would be invaluable. Generations to come will not shy away from thinking, doing, dreaming, just because they’re told “that’s for boys not girls” or “you’re paid less because you’re a woman”, or “girls do art and boys do science” or “girls are pretty and boys are clever”. They will instinctively challenge attempts to judge them by their gender and not their merits. They will better be able to stand up to systemic gender discrimination for themselves and others.

This is the reality I want for my own daughters and for girls everywhere. Hillary Clinton is Good for Girls, and we’re #WithHer.