Girl Up: Women committed to making a difference

In+a+world+where+many+feel+that+there+is+still+gender+inequality+throughout+many+countries%2C+the+United+Nations+campaign%2C+Girl+Up%2C+tries+to+fight+these+inequalities+and+make+the+world+a+better+place+for+women.+%22We+push+for+greater+legislation%2C+gender+equality%2C+and+better+situations+for+girls+around+the+world+in+general%2C%22+Natick+High+School+senior+Sophia+Wick+said.+

Credit: Courtesy of Sophia Wick

In a world where many feel that there is still gender inequality throughout many countries, the United Nations campaign, Girl Up, tries to fight these inequalities and make the world a better place for women. “We push for greater legislation, gender equality, and better situations for girls around the world in general,” Natick High School senior Sophia Wick said.

Taylor McGuire

With over 4,000 clubs in almost 125 different countries, the United Nations’ campaign, Girl Up, is occupied by over 75,000 girls tirelessly working towards making a difference in the world. Although Girl Up is a global campaign, the Girl Up Greater Boston Coalition is a collection of Girl Up clubs in the New England area with 141 members.

Natick High School senior Sophia Wick joined the Girl Up club at her school and ultimately applied, and was accepted, to be an executive board member of the Boston Coalition.

“Our coalition is a group of girls from the Northeast, and we, [the executive board] basically work to manage and run the clubs in the area,” Wick said.

The executive board works to plan events, help clubs and club leaders in the area, spread information about the coalition and much more.

“I’m part of the executive board, so then there are co-presidents, and then there are also committees,” Wick said. “We have five committees: Media, Advocacy, Education, STEM, and Community Outreach.”

Each committee is dedicated to doing various tasks that will help the coalition grow and thrive, and each committee hosts events to help educate peers and garner interest in the Girl Up campaign.

“Every committee has their own event, so in November, the Community Outreach Committee is hosting a ‘virtual soiree,’ which happens every year, and then we have a ‘media to spark change’ workshop in January, so we’re finding speakers for that who will probably have an open panel for discussion and questions, and it will be all online,” Wick said.

While the name may make it seem as if the Boston Coalition only focuses on local issues, this is most definitely not the case.

“Locally, our goal is to get more girls involved in Girl Up clubs and to create more clubs around the area and make sure everyone knows how to run them confidently,” Wick said. “Globally, we push for greater legislation, gender equality, and better situations for girls around the world in general.”

Over the summer, Wick attended an online summit over Zoom where she was able to speak to Girl Up members from all over the world and listen to various stories and speakers. Since the summit had many participants, breakout rooms were created so that the attendees were able to have genuine and personal discussions.

“Each breakout room had a different topic, so ours was ‘period poverty,’ and a girl from India told us about how, in India, you’re not even allowed in the kitchen when you’re on your period because they think you’ll spoil the food,” Wick said. “There’s just a huge negative stigma around girls which really stood out to me.”

These negative stigmas towards females are what drives Wick, and people around the world just like Wick, to participate in these Girl Up clubs across the world. Wick was fortunate enough to be enrolled in one of the 90 schools in New England who already had a Girl Up club, but starting a Girl Up club is relatively straightforward.

“I’m lucky that I had a club already organized at my school, but if a girl wants to start one at their school, then there are resources on the website,” Wick said.

For anyone considering joining the movement or wanting to start a club, Wick sends a simple message: do it!

“[Girl Up] is a great organization, and it’s definitely something I would encourage all girls, or anyone, to be a part of,” Wick said. “It’s been really amazing to meet so many girls from around the world that I never would have talked to, and it’s clearly making a change in the world, so I truly believe it’s a really great organization.”