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 the importance, power, and potential of adolescent girls by encouraging the opening up of more opportunities for them. At the same time, this day is designated to eliminate gender-based challenges that little girls face around the world, including child marriages, poor learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination.
History of International Day of the Girl Child
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 all around the world.
International Day of the Girl Child began as part of the international, non-governmental organization Plan International’s campaign “Because I am a Girl.” The campaign was designed to nurture girls — especially in developing countries, 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.
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 of recognizing October 11, 2012, as the inaugural day of International Day of the Girl Child, which was specifically centered around the grave issue of child marriages.
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 break the cycle of discrimination and violence and empower young ladies to become inspirited, free women of tomorrow.
International Day of the Girl Child timeline
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action becomes the first progressive arrangement to advance the rights of girls.
As per Resolution 66/170, the United Nations adopts October 11 as International Day of the Girl Child.
The first year observing International Day of the Girl Child focuses on the theme of ending child marriages.
By 2013, more than 2,043 events are celebrated on this day around the world.
International Day of the Girl Child FAQs
What was the theme for National Girl Child Day 2020?
The theme of International Day of the Girl 2020 was “My voice, our equal future.”
Who first started International Day of the Girl Child?
The Beijing Declaration was the first to initiate a campaign for the rights of girls.
Why is International Day of the Girl Child important?
International Day of the Girl Child focuses on problems and challenges faced by girls, which are an impediment to their well-being and achieving a better quality of life.
How to Observe International Day of the Girl Child
Actively participate in the theme
International Day of the Girl Child has had a specified theme each year ever since its first observance. Find out what the theme for the year is 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 their birthdays or a special date? 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.
Share a true story on social media
Back the mission of International Day of the Girl Child by sharing true stories about any of the challenges and issues faced by girls, as well as under-recognized achievements and contributions by them. They can be girls you know or yourself. Feel free to keep it anonymous!
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 to 14 spend more than 28 hours doing labor, which is twice the time spent by boys.
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 who are silently oppressed around the world is an outstanding step. It is on this day we get to appreciate the lassies who lighten up our world.
It works to eliminate deep-rooted gender-based issues
Deeply entrenched issues and problematic mindsets that have been 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 around the world.
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.
International Day of the Girl Child dates