International Day Of The Girl: 7 girls to celebrate today, from Greta Thunberg to Aussie teenagers tackling the drought.


This International Day Of The Girl we celebrate seven young women with the moral compass and steely determination of Lisa Simpson, boldly showing the world what it means to fight like a girl.

Greta Thunberg, 16.

“A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future” mocked President Trump via a tweet just days after 16-year old Thunberg passionately demanded radical climate action from world leaders.

The teen swiftly edited her Twitter profile to… “A very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future”.

A declaration that nothing, least bullying from the most powerful man on the planet, would stop her mission to save the world from catastrophic warming.

If all the girls in the world could read…

Video by Mamamia

While many young 16-year-olds are busy keeping up with the Kardashians, Thunberg has managed to move the planet in the short space of a year. A solitary protest out the front of the Swedish parliament has snowballed into four million global citizens taking to the streets to express their concern over climate crisis inaction.


On top of this monumental achievement the teen has offered women all over the world a masterclass in managing misogyny.

After Greta’s straight-talking at the UN Climate Summit, middle-aged men were tearing their toupees out, taking to memes, tweets, tailpipes to blast Thunberg’s appearance, performance and Asperger’s syndrome.

Through this sexist social media storm Thunberg has remained as cool as a cucumber, standing strong on her stack of well-researched facts, simply repeating, “I don’t want you to listen to me, I want you to listen to the science”.

Jamie Margolin, 17.

Image: Getty.

When smog from raging wildfires in Canada reached her home of Seattle, Washington, Jamie Margolin decided it was time to take matters into her own hands. In 2017, the teen used social media to start ZERO HOUR; a movement designed to offer youth a platform to fight global inaction on the climate crisis.

What began as a personal concern with the rapid growth of climate change related catastrophes blew up to 100 chapters worldwide. In just two short years Jamie has organised the Youth Climate March in Washington, defended her generation's right to a future before US Congress, and released a TED Talk explaining how patriarchy, racism and colonialism are the root cause of the climate crisis.

“With colonialism came the idea that nothing — not air, water, trees or animals — was sacred or priceless. And this historical mindset is the core of how we got to the climate disaster."

Like Greta, Jamie has received her unfair share of online misogyny with a right-wing blog suggesting that she should worry less about the environment and more about getting a boyfriend. A criticism that she described as, “so funny…because I don’t even swing that way".

The mix-raced Latina doesn’t describe herself as being ‘into’ or ‘passionate’ about the climate change. “If you see a ticking time bomb about to explode, it’s not about being ‘into’ time bombs… it’s your duty to prevent an explosion.”


Makaaala Dodd and Kate Currans, both 16.

Image: Supplied.

With large swathes of eastern Australia in drought, it's sadly normal to see and read media reports of failing businesses, starving animals, farmers suffering mental health issues, and parched land. But what of the young girls who are part of those farming families?

Sixteen-year-olds Makaaala Dodd and Kate Currans are among those raising their voices on behalf of drought-affected youth as delegates at the UNICEF NSW Youth Drought Summit.


Speaking to Mamamia's daily news podcast, The Quicky, Kate said that drought has been a near-constant in her life. She remembers being just three years old and having to protect a newborn lamb from starving crows on her family's property near Nyngan in central NSW.

"You never really can [escape it] because it's always in the back of your mind," she said. "Even at boarding school, I kind of feel useless being there, not being able to help."

For Makaaala's family in Uralla, west of Armidale, the lack of rain has been "devastating".

"The sheep... They're getting feed and with the feed they're eating dirt with it as well. It's costing us an arm and a leg to actually give them the nutrients that they need," she said. "It's barren and dusty, there are dust storms every day. There's no water in one of the dams. We only have two and if the second one goes until then we're basically ruined."

She encourages city folks to conserve water wherever possible and to support struggling farmers by buying local produce.

"If we run out of water, you're not going to have any meat on your plate. You're not going to have any veggies. It's all going to be imported stuff," she said. "And our first job is looking after our Australians and where our source of food comes from. And think about the fact that [farmers] have an income [to earn] and a family to support, and if they go under then a lot of them aren't going to stick around."

Alicia Serratos, 13.

Image: Getty.

This determined American girl scout petitioned for years to get GMOs out of Girl Scout Cookies. Passionate about healthy eating and sustainable soil, at the young age of six Alicia began her battle and didn’t back down.

In 2017, after gaining 48,000 signatures on her petition, Alicia was ecstatic when the Girl Scouts announced their decision to make a range of GMO-free cookies.

The 13-year old star of the award-winning documentary, Need to Grow, is dedicated to educating people about the importance organic food and preserving seeds, creating a seed library and organic vegetable garden at her school.


“The world has lost 93 per cent of its seeds. If anything else was going extinct the way seeds are people would be panicking. There’s no food without seeds.”

On top of her fight for organic foods, at age 10, Alicia started her own business Play Well Jewellery. Through making and selling her own products Alicia bought herself a trip to Uganda with Play Well Africa to hand out Legos to kids in need.

Lilly Platt, 11.

Image: Facebook.

Most kids ask for pizza parties and ice-skating for their birthdays, but Lilly isn’t your average pre-teen. Each turn around the sun she simply asks people to pick up after themselves on #LillysGlobalCleanUpDay.

After moving to Holland, the UK born 11-year old was taking a walk with her grandfather when she became aware of the world’s overwhelming plastic problem. Learning to count in Dutch she numbered a whopping 91 pieces of plastic during their short walk.

Since becoming aware of the issue Lilly hasn’t wasted a second. She has made it her mission to raise global awareness; skyping with schools all over the world to explain the problem and offer solutions and has recently been working with a Bali based company to create a reusable straw and spork set.

This year Lilly was named an International Eco Hero and one of the top 100 Influencers tackling the plastic pollution problem.

Her advice for other girls is, “Always speak up and believe in what you do. You’re more powerful than you think. Remember all small actions will make a great big one.”

Ralyn Satidtanasarn (Lilly), 12.

Image: Getty.

12-year old Ralyn is leading the war on plastic in her home city of Bangkok, skipping school to paddle board polluted canals and fish out litter.

“I’ve learned more from doing this than I have at school.”

Inspired by Greta Thunberg, Ralyn has set an ambitious goal to see Thailand single-use plastic-free by 2022.

“Greta is really important to me because of what she symbolises. She says that kids can make a difference. She wants everyone to do something.”

Ralyn began her fight at age eight and has since led several sit-ins out the front of government house, spoken at a UN conference, as well as directly put pressure on businesses leaders. Her biggest success to date has been convincing a supermarket chain not to offer plastic bags one day a week.


Thailand is the 6th biggest plastic polluter of oceans with an average Thai person using eight plastic bags a day, but the epic proportions of the problem don’t put Ralyn off track.

“It is hard, but I like to be positive about it because there is always hope, we can always fix something. If there is a problem, we fix it.”

Ella Mann, 19.

19-year old Mann proved the pen is mightier than the sword after her open letter to The Royal Shakespeare Company on behalf of concerned youth compelled the organisation to cut its ties with BP Oil.

“We are the audiences of the future and we will not support theatre that accepts sponsorship from a company that is continuing to extract fossil fuels while our earth burns” wrote Mann.

She later pointed out the hypocrisy of the message sent through the youth-targeted shows mounted by the company.

"We wish that the RSC would act on the ideas that they present in Matilda and not give in to the powerful oppressor. As said by Matilda herself: 'If it’s not right, you’ve got to put it right!'"

For eight years the oil giant had sponsored a subsidy program at the Shakespeare company, reducing performance prices to just five pounds for 16 to 25-year-olds.

After months of mounting pressure from environmental organisations and the departure of actor Mark Rylance over the theatre’s relationship with fossil fuels it appears that Mann’s letter was the straw that broke the camel’s back.