International Girl Child Day 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. To eliminate such discriminations Scholaroo has resources for scholarships from around the world for young girls to support their future.
The theme for this year’s aptly named “Day of the Girl Child” as it is also 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 the lot of girls as compared to the role of boys in many cultures, where the male of our species has better access to education and opportunities by virtue of being male. One out of four girls is unemployed, uneducated, or untrained as compared to one in every ten boys, and these are worldwide statistical records. Although we have reached a point that we recognize this day as International Girls’ Day, much still needs to be done to improve lives for girls.
History of International Girl Child Day
Since December 19, 2011, this day has been celebrated as an “International Girl Child Day” or just “International Girls’ Day”. In the UN General Assembly, a resolution was passed which declared 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 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.” Plan International is a non-government organization which works in around 70 countries worldwide. It spearheaded the campaign in 2007 which was aimed to spread awareness on the need of nurturing girls globally and especially in developing countries where conditions are poorer. 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.
In the 1995 World Conference on Women in Beijing, countries adopted an action plan to support women rights and to 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 protection, it gained greater 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 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. Each year, this day is observed with a unique theme. The inaugural theme was ending child marriage. Since then, this day has been celebrated around the world and different initiatives for girl and women empowerment have gained momentum, and 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 break the cycle of discrimination and violence and empower young ladies to become inspirited, free women of tomorrow.
International Girl Child Day 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.
The aim of this theme came to having equal rights, opportunities, and access to everything as boys do.
International Girl Child Day 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 Girl Child Day
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.
Participate in a girls' empowerment campaign
Strong, 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 on 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 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 Girl Child Day 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 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 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. All the initiatives taken to nurture girls have been a direct consequence of spreading awareness in the society. Celebrating this day internationally gives a platform to those underprivileged girls to raise their voice and demand equality of rights, education, and health. It gives them a forum to talk about 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.
International Girl Child Day dates