On Kiva, it's clear that women play a full range of roles: mothers, sisters, entrepreneurs, community leaders, activists, the list goes on. We see women every day acting on behalf of their communities, becoming the driving force behind business, education and agriculture.

Today, we celebrate the Day of the Girl Child, presenting us all with the opportunity to help young women thrive and grow up to be successful at whatever path they choose. This international day of reflection is all about considering gender equality, and the ways we can act together to combat the discrimination and abuse that is too often suffered by girls. Across cultures and classes, these factors are a barrier standing between them and success. It's time to tear down these walls.

According to the United Nations, one in three girls worldwide experiences abuse in her lifetime. More than half of sexual assaults happen to girls under age 16. This year, the Day of the Girl Child is all about rallying the global community around education as a source of empowerment for young girls who would otherwise be overlooked.

With this in mind, Kiva lenders have a great advantage in the fight for women's rights and empowerment. You have the tools to make a difference. You could support Manar in Jordan, or Maha in Lebanon, who is looking to borrow funds to support her children's education, or Aida in Kyrgyzstan who is looking to pay for college. You, as a Kiva lender, have the power to improve the well-being of women and girls so that they can help themselves.

The U.N. has identified education as a major weapon against gender-based violence and discrimination. By lending to a woman to afford education, you are helping her develop the skills she needs to establish a stable life, escape bad conditions, make her own decisions, and make gender equality the norm wherever she lives.

So today, in addition to celebrating the inspiring girls and women in your life, don't forget to log in to Kiva and help a borrower realize her dreams. Like your family, Kiva borrowers want the chance to succeed and improve their lives. This is how change is made. One loan at a time. One girl at a time. And then maybe, one day, we'll wonder why we needed a holiday for this in the first place.

Have questions how you can do more to support women and girls on Kiva? Send them our way at blog@kiva.org.


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