Supported me through thick and thin
As the class of 2012 prepares to graduate from high school this month, we take the time to appreciate and recognize family and friends who have supported and helped us get where we are today.
I’m taking the time to appreciate my father, who has always encouraged me to work hard in school, supported me through thick and thin, and inspired me by his own selflessness.
I imagine a girl my age in Liberia, who is not as fortunate as I am to be graduating from high school. Her childhood was taken away by child marriage.
That isn’t to say that her father doesn’t care for her; rather, he thought that because he cannot afford to provide for his family properly, by arranging for her marriage, he is giving her a better life. He was unaware of the fact that doing so puts her at high risk for getting pregnant at a very young age, and cutting her education short actually severely limits her ability to escape from poverty.
Our fathers play an integral role in shaping our lives, and that is true around the world. This reminds me exactly why it’s important to include fathers in the Girl Up discussion. Their unique voice provides a crucial perspective to the campaign.
So this Father’s Day, thank the men in your life for all that they have done for you and explain to them how their voices are important to girls around the world (and sign the child marriage petition while you’re at it)! Happy Father’s Day!
He helped me turn my ideas into realities
While fighting for equality for women and girls, it’s important to recognize all of the men in our lives that have helped along the way.
This Father’s Day, there are many significant men in my life.
My Grandpa raised my mom to believe she could be anything. He instilled in her a belief that her gender was not a boundary and she grew up to be a lawyer in a time when the vast majority of people she worked with were men.
My dad has done the same for me. He sparked my interest in politics and foreign policy when I was in elementary school and ever since he has helped me turn my ideas into realities.
We can’t forget about all of the accomplishments our “First Father” Barack Obama has made for America. He created the Equal Pay Task Force and passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act to ensure that women and men receive equal pay.
This helped support women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Happy Father’s Day to the best dad and grandpa a girl could ask for!