day of the girl
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International Day of the Girl

International Day of the Girl – what’s the point?

International Day of the Girl was set up by the United Nations General Assembly to highlight both the rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

In many parts of the world these challenges include rights to education and forced early marriage.

It’s a proven fact that a woman who is educated usually marries later and has fewer, healthier children. Make life better for girls and you make life better for everyone, says the UN.

This year the UN and Plan International are supporting girls to pull off a “global takeover”. Today, girls across the world will step into the shoes of political, social and economic leaders.

In Ireland, we have Étáin Sweeney Keogh, an 18-year-old from Leitrim, who will be “taking over” the lord mayor of Dublin’s office for Plan International Ireland.

Although girls in Ireland may not face the same challenges as many other countries, we still have a long way to go. And we can certainly help those other girls around the world to highlight the discrimination and issues they face.

Here are the facts:

  • 70% of the world’s poor are girls and women
  • 62m Number of girls who should be in school but are not.
  • 830 girls and young women die during pregnancy and childbirth every day
  • 55% of the 20.9m victims of forced labour are girls and women
  • 39,000 girls are married before they turn 18

More you might like:

World Mental Health Day
4 lessons from a new mum
Anxiety in women

ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.

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Q. My son is nearly 18 months and still hasn’t slept a full night. He always wakes and wants to get into my bed! And I give in…

Lucy says
After 18 months of interrupted sleep you must be feeling exhausted. Motherhood is challenging at the best of times and being sleep-deprived can make it even harder. With ongoing sleep issues, you will need an entire sleep overhaul and some significant lifestyle changes – but it will be worth it when both you and your little man start to get consolidated uninterrupted sleep.

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ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.