For the past 4 years, October 11th has been more than just a day to me. It has been a commemoration, a celebration, and a reminder that half of the world is not yet equal.

As a girl, I personally experienced a number of health issues — Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, an eating disorder, clinical depression. Because I understand what it means to hit rock bottom mentally, physically, and emotionally, I helped lead a girl’s empowerment nonprofit, Healthy Girls Save the World, during college. I strived to be a healthy role model so that the girls understood that their beauty stems from strength, intelligence, and self-care, not weight and make-up.

But I was fortunate to have the resources, love, and capacity to better my health. As I learn more about the world, I am consistently met with the fact that is not true for all girls. Whether relegated to housework, barred from receiving an education, forced into early child marriage, or taught that they cannot excel in STEM fields, girls all over the world face unique challenges to leading daily lives.

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