International Day of the Girl Child is an annual and internationally recognized observance on October 11 that empowers girls and amplifies their voices. Like its adult version, International Women’s Day celebrated on March 8, International Day of the Girl Child acknowledges adolescent girls’ importance, power, and potential by encouraging the opening up of more opportunities. At the same time, this day eliminates gender-based challenges that little girls face worldwide, including child marriages, poor learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination. To eradicate such prejudices, Scholar has resources for scholarships worldwide for young girls to support their future.
The theme for this year’s aptly named “Day of the Girl Child,” as it is known, is “Digital generation. Our generation.” It provides a platform for the global community to understand the disadvantages girls face online. 2.2 billion people under the age of 25 do not have internet access, with the majority being girls. This day seeks to celebrate a lot of girls compared to the role of boys in many cultures, where the male of our species has better access to education and opportunities by being male. One out of four girls is unemployed, uneducated, or untrained compared to one in every ten boys, which are worldwide statistical records. Although we have reached a point where we recognize this day as International Girls’ Day, much still needs to be done to improve girls’ lives.
History of International Day of the Girl Child
Since December 19, 2011, this day has been celebrated as an “International Day of the Girl Child” or just “International Girls’ Day.” In the U.N. General Assembly, a resolution was passed, declaring October 11 as a day to honor the girls.
Calling out for the rights of women and girls was first achieved by the Beijing Declaration in 1995 at the World Conference on Women in Beijing. In the history of the world, it was the first-ever blueprint to have identified the need for addressing issues faced by adolescent girls worldwide.
International Day of the Girl Child began as part of the non-governmental organization Plan International’s campaign “Because I am a Girl.” Plan International is a non-government organization that works in around 70 countries worldwide. It spearheaded the campaign in 2007 to spread awareness of the need to nurture girls globally, especially in developing countries where conditions are poorer. The campaign was designed to encourage girls — especially in developing countries, to promote their rights and bring them out of poverty. International Day of the Girl Child was born as an idea during the campaign and grew into practice when its representatives requested the Canadian federal government to seek a coalition of supporters. Eventually, the United Nations became involved.
In the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, countries adopted an action plan to support women’s rights and safeguard the future of young girls internationally. With the initiative of Plan International and other bodies also raising their voice in support of girls and women’s protection, it gained more excellent traction. It was then formally proposed by Canada to be passed as a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. Consequently, on December 19, 2011, the U.N. General Assembly successfully adopted the resolution recognizing October 11, 2012, as the inaugural day of International Day of the Girl Child, specifically centered around the grave issue of child marriages. Each year, this day is observed with a unique theme. The inaugural theme was ending child marriage. Since then, this day has been celebrated worldwide, and different initiatives for girl and women empowerment have gained momentum; each year’s theme highlights issues girls face.
Its verdict beautifully describes the true empowerment of the girl child who’s as critical to economic growth as boys. It recognizes that the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect their lives is the key to breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and empowering young ladies to become inspirited, free women of tomorrow.
International Day of the Girl Child Timeline
World Conference on Women
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action becomes the first progressive arrangement to advance girls’ rights.
International Day of the Girl Child
As per Resolution 66/170, the United Nations adopted October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.
The first year of observing International Day of the Girl Child focuses on ending child marriages.
The Day Gains Traction
By 2013, more than 2,043 events are celebrated on this day around the world.
“My Voice, Our Equal Future”
This theme aimed to have equal rights, opportunities, and access to everything as boys do.
How to Observe International Day of the Girl Child
- Actively participate in the theme
- International Day of the Girl Child has had a specified piece each year since its first observance. Find out the article for the year and participate actively in it by launching campaigns on social media using the hashtag #BrighterFutureForGirls.
- Make the girls around you feel special!
- Why make girls around us feel special only on birthdays or special dates? Appreciate your adolescent daughter, sister, or any other young lady in your life by giving them a token of your appreciation and by empowering them in any way you can think of.
- Participate in a girls’ empowerment campaign
- Solid and disciplined men need to nurture these girls who will soon transition into womanhood. So go ahead, and join your girls in their campaigns to spread awareness of gender-based inequality and violence.
5 Facts about the life of girls that you didn't know
- Little girls become brides at a young age
- Around 33,000 girls are married off every day around the world.
- HIV is prevalent among girls
- An estimated 340,000 girls and young women are infected with the virus every year, and currently, more than 3 million girls and young women are living with HIV all over the world.
- Girls think husbands are entitled to beat wives
- Around 44% of the girls between 15 to 19 years of age think it’s okay for a husband to beat his wife.
- They do more unpaid child labor than boys
- Girls between five and 14 spend more than 28 hours doing work, twice the time boys spend.
- Girls are shamelessly trafficked for sexual exploitation
- 96% of human trafficked individuals for sexual exploitation are girls and women.
Why International Day of the Girl Child is Important
- It empowers girls!
- Amid the noise of Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, and even Women’s Day, calling out for the rights of little girls silently oppressed worldwide is a significant step. We get to appreciate the lassies who lighten up our world on this day. It should be known that an educated and skilled woman is far more effective in preventing infant mortality, is proven to take care of the house more sophisticatedly, and hence contribute more to society than an uneducated, unskilled, socially abused woman.
- It works to eliminate deep-rooted gender-based issues
- Deeply entrenched issues and problematic mindsets passed on for generations have made gender-based discrimination and oppression threateningly common in every household, particularly in developing countries. International Day of the Girl Child seeks to eliminate the tragic predicaments of little girls worldwide.
- Empowered girls grow up to be empowered women
- Adolescence is a critical point in every person’s life. It determines the trajectory of girls’ lives, which is why caring for girls in their youth benefits all. If they are empowered at a vulnerable age, they can mature into liberated, wise women of the future. As a society, we all win. All the initiatives taken to nurture girls have been a direct consequence of spreading awareness in the community. Celebrating this day internationally gives a platform to those underprivileged girls to raise their voices and demand equality of rights, education, and health. It gives them a forum to discuss the violence they are subjected to and voice their pleas to end this cruelty. Our efforts in raising their voice will help them grow and be free of this inequality.