What International Day of the Girl Child Means to Vanguard

Since 2012, the world has been celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child to highlight the unique experiences of girls and encourage the world to empower girls to seek their full potential.

The United Nation’s theme for this year’s observance is GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable. The theme is an homage to the 30,000 men and women that convened in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women September 4 – 15, 1995, which produced the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action — the most comprehensive roadmap to achieving gender equality ever drafted. The declaration was drafted with the intention of removing all obstacles for women to have an active role in public and private environments: social, cultural and political decision-making.

As a Hispanic woman-owned public relations agency staffed nearly entirely by women, Vanguard is proud to support clients that uplift America’s youth, like:

  • The Caring for Every Child’s Mental Health Campaign, an initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which advanced the conversation and actions around children’s mental health;
  • The National Parent Teacher Association, which gets families excited about summer reading so that kids continue to succeed in school; and
  • Adoptions Together, which helps D.C. families support each other’s journeys.

In celebration of this day, we asked staff, “What does International Day of the Girl Child mean to you?” and “What is your hope for the girls in your life?” Below are their answers.

Brenda K. Foster, Senior Vice President

“My daughter has a willingness to ask questions about equity and opportunity that I never considered asking when I was growing up. I love that she feels powerful enough to shape her own future and to challenge people and ideas that get in the way of her dreams.” 

Crystal Borde, Director

“This is a day about celebrating possibilities and eliminating limitations. When I was growing up, my world included more barriers to break and less opportunities available to girls than there are now. While women have more ‘firsts’ to achieve and more chairs to add to leadership tables, I’m thrilled my young nieces are already experiencing a world full of possibilities with less limitations based on their gender identity.”

Kate Fink, Associate Director

“We forget that just a few generations ago, girls grew up in a world with strict limitations on their personal and professional lives. And sadly, many today still do. As I watch my niece head to her first birthday this year, I’m grateful for the progress in gender equality in the United States and around the world that will help girls like her become an unstoppable force.”

LeAnne DeFrancesco, Vice President

I hope that my 9-year-old daughter continues to embrace the idea that her identity is hers alone, which she can define and evolve as her life experiences change. I hope that she will be embraced as the complex and wonderful individual she is, not be pushed into limited labels or roles. And I hope that she will champion other girls who need courage and confidence to find their way in this world.”

Maria Rodriguez, CEO

“I hope that one day soon women won’t need to fight for equal rights, equal pay and equal representation in all parts of society. Until then, recognizing the impact and value of women around the world is something that we need to do every day.”

Rafiat Animashaun, Account Executive

“No matter how you dice it, girls and women play an essential role in all facets of life, politics, economics and more. I was blessed to be raised by and around strong, insightful and courageous women who have shown me the meaning of believing in myself and pushing arbitrary boundaries to realize potential beyond what society deemed women could attain. I hope the girls of tomorrow know that they can go further than the stars and reach to the highest of heights!”

Tomás Harmon, Account Manager

“As the oldest and only boy in my family, it’s been mesmerizing to watch the young women in my family forge ahead by themselves. They created their own successes, overcame their own challenges, and took ownership of who they are in the world. Even though they might say everyone looked up to me as the oldest, the truth is I look up to them and aspire to be as brave, kind, passionate, smart, dedicated and hardworking.”