Day of the Girl: student feminists step forward
By Amber George
Year after year, feminism expands all across the globe, allowing women to celebrate and discuss their equality among their community. Following in the footsteps of important figures such as Abigail Adams and Susan B. Anthony, women from countries around the world have been speaking up about their rights.
Flagstaff is no exception to this widespread movement, and is adding to it. This year, a group of very determined girls at Northern Arizona University (NAU) have set out to show the city of Flagstaff what it means to be a woman.
Day of the Girl is an international event that highlights, celebrates and discusses the rights of women, as well as helps to advance the lives of girls all around the world. It is held in hundreds of countries once a year in order to highlight the importance of feminism. Only until recently, however, did this event hit close to home.
Morgan Stinson is a freshman electrical engineer major. Having a male-dominated major reinforces Stinson’s passion for spreading awareness about the feminist movement. This is why she, along with a group of dedicated friends from NAU, worked together to have Mayor Jerry Nabours proclaim Oct. 11 as the official Day of the Girl in Flagstaff.
“When girls come together to talk about what really matters to us, we can teach other people a new way of thinking about issues like gender stereotypes, discrimination and opportunity,” Stinson says. “Oct. 11 is not just a day but a movement; it is bigger than one issue, one organization or even one country.”
Stinson was in charge of the public relations for the event, and she got involved with the YMCA of Flagstaff as well as several Girl Scout troops around the city in order to expand their audience.
“In order to tackle the issues that directly impact girls’ lives, we have to identify them as barriers to our full participation in the world,” says the official Day of the Girl website.
The hopes of these Flagstaff feminists is to organize and host events through the year, which will help spread awareness of the issues surrounding discrimination based on gender.
Of the four girls working together, freshman international affairs major Amanda Monroty holds the title as president.
“My inspiration behind this event really comes from the fact that my true goal in life is, after college, to do a lot of work with humanitarian aid,” Monroy says. “The world is still so blind to most of the injustice that young girls around the world face.”
According to Monroy, the group of four female students she is working with is called the “Day of the Girl: Flagstaff” group until they can officially form a club and think of a new name. Within the past few weeks, they were able to get an official proclamation as well as a partnership with the local YMCA, where they will begin mentoring girls in high school. They already have many sponsors such as the Day of the Girl organization, Girls on the Run and School Girls United, and have gained support from the community. The girls plan on continuing their efforts to educate Flagstaff about the importance of gender equality.
“My goals are to turn this into a nonprofit that focuses on mentoring young girls in the community,” Monroy says.
Stephanie Martinez, a freshman civil engineering major, has also taken part in building up the success of “Day of the Girl: Flagstaff.”
“I think that girls can accomplish whatever they put their mind to,” Martinez says. “I’d like to bring to notice all the social injustices that girls around the world face.”
Although they have plenty of ideas, the girls know that it is going to take a lot of work for their program to be successful. They are striving to get their name out there by getting the community involved and creating interactive events that will help the public to understand their intentions.
For more information concerning the program or upcoming events, visit their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DayOfTheGirlArizona.