This year marks the 11th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child – a day to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world.

Eleven years on from the day’s first celebration and the challenges that today’s young girls face have only heightened. From closing civil spaces to a growing backlash to feminism, we are currently witnessing the curtailing and rolling back of rights for women and girls globally.

At the current rate of progress, it could take between 131 to 300 years to achieve gender equality. At best, that is four more generations of young girls coming up against gender discrimination. Four more generations of girls facing restrictions on what they can or can’t do with their lives – their bodies – simply because they are girls. But in the face of adversity, young girls are fighting back. They are fronting climate movements, fighting for their right to education and challenging limiting gendered norms in their communities. They are showing up every day and proving just how resourceful, resilient and creative they truly are. And every day, we are inspired by them.

That’s why this International Day of the Girl Child, we are sharing our love letters to them as the current and future leaders of our movement. From the women that inspired us as young girls to personal messages to this generation of young leaders and changemakers, we are celebrating girlhood and the power of girls across our communities to drive change.

HERE are our letters to them.