International Day Of The Girl

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 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.

So why is this important?

Statistics from the World Health Organization say so…

  • Approximately 33 million girls across the world aren’t allowed to go to school – for no reason other than their gender.
  • One in five girls in developing countries who enroll in primary school never finish. Only 30% of girls globally are enrolled in secondary school.
  • 1.2 million children are trafficked every year. Many of them are forced into prostitution.
  • 250 million young girls are currently stuck in poverty. Poor girls are two-and-a-half times more likely to marry in childhood than wealthy ones.
  • One in three girls in developing countries, excluding China, is forced to marry before she turns 18 – that’s 47,700 girls every day. One in seven is married before the age of 15.
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) affects more than 125 million girls and women alive today. It is recognized internationally as a human rights violation.

In this lovely video by The Guardian, you can see how inequality starts before birth…

So what can we do? 

Donate! According to Metro there are specific things you can do in the UK. Plan International is running #GirlsTakeover, where young girls hold high positions for the day. For example in the Philippines, 23-year-old Melchora takes over as a Mangyan chieftan. Hanna Visnes, 17, is taking over as editor-in-chief of Nettavisen national news station in Norway. And girls in Uganda are taking over as ministers in parliament. You can make a donation HERE.

ActionAid is pushing people to share Goal 5 from the Global Goals for Sustainable Development – ‘To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’ – with the hashtags #GlobalGoals and #DayoftheGirl. They’ve also spoken to girls in the UK and Bangladesh about their ambitions for the future.

Talk about it. Spread the word about the International Day Of The Girl… not just today but everyday. You’re on the internet anyway. Share your stories. Give girls hope, Use the hashtag #DayOfTheGirl and share your empowerment and inspiring stories from other women. What would you tell your younger self if you had a chance? What hope can you give to young girls struggling today? Use your words. They’re powerful.

Image credit Unicef

Image credit Unicef

What are some ways we can enrich and empower the girls in our lives?

I’d love to hear what you think on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!