Girls Are Unstoppable: International Day of the Girl Child 2021

On International Day of the Girl Child, we’re celebrating the voices and leadership of all the girls around the world who are rising up to transform their lives, families, and communities — and our future!

Rise Up supports girls and partner organizations across the globe to strengthen girls’ leadership and mobilize girls in their communities to advocate for their own needs through our Girls’ Voices Initiative and our Girls’ Voices Curriculum. Today, we’re sharing reflections from young leaders in Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, India, and Nigeria who are speaking out for the rights of girls everywhere. 

Read on to hear from these powerful girl leaders and young women — in their own voices — about their inspiration to create change, their visions for the future, and what they want the world to know.  

Leader responses have been edited for length and clarity.


“Girls have a voice and we are the ones who must decide on the solutions that are taken to improve our living conditions AND that WE know about our rights. With information and opportunities we are unstoppable!” – Marbel, 14, Rise Up Girl Leader

Rise Up Girl Leaders in Guatemala use the radio to advocate for their rights and reach other girls

“We create interactive and informative spaces [through technology and digital platforms] where we can use our voices to communicate and express our feelings and thoughts and create opportunities for girls and women.” – Lucí, 16, Rise Up Girl Leader


“I realize that there are still people who are stuck in a past where girls have their lives totally prescribed, where they should be submissive and only take on tasks ‘assigned’ to women. What motivates me are exactly these people. They motivate me to fight for our rights more and more and change the vision that society has about us! I want the world to know that there are amazing girls in my community. There are girls with huge potential who just need a little encouragement. Girls who study, dedicate themselves, make an effort, help each other…Girls who have already promoted so many changes in my city and that surely will promote changes in the world!” – Gabrielle, 14, Rise Up Girl Leader with Empodera, our partner in São Paulo

“Knowing that an act of mine could change the lives of other girls in a not so distant future, makes me feel inspired to take action.” – Natalia, 15, Rise Up Girl Leader with Empodera


“I have lessons and skills that I’ll carry on for the rest of my life and even pass them on to others. I have learned to always be outspoken, to be a motivator, and role model for other girls in a community….Most importantly, the program made me understand that I can be who I want to be and not who anyone else wants me to be.” – Adejimi, Rise Up Girl Leader with Adolescent Health Incorporated, our partner in Lagos

Nigerian Rise Up Girl Leaders during a creative art class in 2020


“We are each other’s power.” – Renuka, 17; Pooja, 17; Jyoti, 14; Priyanka, 14; Girl Leaders with Work for Equality, our partner in Maharashtra

“We are stronger together.” – Sanjivani, 19, Leader with Work for Equality

“I have the power to change the world.” – Nikita, 17, Girl Leader with Work for Equality

Sanjivani sharing her story with girl leaders in India


“I let girls in my community know that we have rights and that we have to be empowered girls. I want people to know that we are working to defend our rights and that our participation in local government spaces is more active in decision-making.” – Kemberley, 19, Rise Up Leader, Proyecto Paz y Justicia 

“Girls in my community are important and contribute significantly to the social changes in our society.” – Rita, 19, Rise Up Leader, SILOE  

Rita from Honduras wants the world to know girls in her community are powerful