International Day of the Girl Child
International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of the Girl and the International Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl. The International Day of the Girl Child promotes girls’ rights and highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys. The observation supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as right to education/access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and unfree child marriage.
The International Day of the Girl Child gives people and organizations the opportunity to raise public awareness of the different types of discrimination and abuse that many girls around the world suffer from. On this day, many community and political leaders talk to the public about the importance of girls’ right to equal education and their fundamental freedoms. Various events are held to showcase the work that people are doing to empower girls through active support and engagement with parents, families, and the wider community.
Since 2012, the United Nations marks 11 October as the ‘International Day of the Girl Child’. The day promotes girls’ human rights, highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys and addresses the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the world.
Discrimination and violence against girls and violations of their human rights still happen. The UN felt a need to raise awareness of the challenges that millions of girls face every day. In December 2011, the UN declared that it would annually observe the International Day of the Girl Child, starting from October 11, 2012.
UN agencies, Member States, civil society organizations, and private sector stakeholders are called on to commit to putting adolescent girls at the centre of sustainable development efforts by making the following critical investments in their present and future:
- Invest in high quality education, skills, training, access to technology and other learning initiatives that prepare girls for life, jobs, and leadership.
- Invest in health and nutrition suitable to the adolescent years, including puberty education, menstrual hygiene management, and sexual and reproductive health education and services.
- Promote zero tolerance against physical, mental, and sexual violence.
- Enact and consistently implement social, economic, and policy mechanisms to combat early marriage and female genital mutilation.
- Invest in the creation and maintenance of social and public spaces for civic and political engagement, creativity and talent enhancement.
- Promote gender-responsive legislation and policies across all areas especially for adolescent girls who are disabled, vulnerable and marginalized, and victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
The commitment by the global community to realising the potential of adolescent girls will directly translate into the girls as powerful and positive change agents for their own empowerment, for advancing gender equality and for the sustainable advancement of their nations.
We want ourselves, and girls everywhere, to be seen as equals, in the eyes of others and in our own eyes.