The calling out for women’s and girls’ rights was first achieved in 1995 by the Beijing Declaration at the World Conference on Women in Beijing. On 19th December 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 hence declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. This day was set to acknowledge the rights of girls and the unique challenges girls around the world face. Since then, International Day of the Girl Child is observed annually and internationally on October 11 to empower girls and amplify their voices. Like its adult version, International Women’s Day, which is commemorated on March 8, International Day of the Girl Child recognizes the power, importance, and potential adolescent girls have by encouraging more opportunities to be opened up for them.
This day is also designated to put an end to gender-based challenges that are faced by little girls around the world, including period shame, early marriages, violence, poor learning opportunities, and discrimination. The International Day of the Girl Child shines a light on the need to tackle the challenges girls face, to promote their empowerment and fulfill their human rights. All girls around the world are entitled to a safe, healthy, and educated life as they mature into adult women. They have the potential to change the world if they are supported during their adolescent years, as the empowered girls of today and as mentors, entrepreneurs, workers, household heads, mothers, and political leaders of tomorrow.
Investing in the realization of the power of these adolescent girls validates their rights today and also promises a more prosperous and equitable future, in which the female half of humanity receives equal opportunities to solve the issues of climate change, economic growth, disease prevention, political conflict, and global sustainability. For UNESCO, the issue of gender equality is a global priority and what drives peace and sustainable development is supporting young girls in their training and enabling them the full ability to make their ideas and voices heard. In too many cases across the world, due to child labor or forced marriages, teenage girls are forced to drop out of school. To ensure that all girls around the world have access to a dignified life with quality education, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is committed to the celebration of this very important day.
Significance of International Day of the Girl Child
International Day of the Girl Child;
- Focuses attention on the challenges and problems that girls around the world face, which are a hindrance to their well-being and a better quality of life.
- Empowers girls. On this day, we get to acknowledge the lassies who brighten the world.
- Works to abolish profound gender-based issues which are deeply entrenched and have been passed on for generations, making gender-based oppression and discrimination common in every household, especially in developing countries. International Day of the Girl Child seeks to do away with the problematic mindsets that encourage these tragic issues facing little girls around the world.
- Empowers girls to grow to empowered women. Caring for girls in their teenage years benefits all as it determines the trajectory of their lives. If they are empowered at a young age, they mature into wise, liberated women of the future. This way, we all win as a society.
The Theme of International Day of the Girl Child 2021
Ever since it was first observed, International Day of the Girl Child has had a specific theme each year. This year’s International Day of the Girl Child theme is “Digital Generation. Our Generation.” In this age of digital revolution which has people using technology to learn and earn, girls and women cannot be left behind. Girls know their digital realities and the solutions they require to succeed as technologists for freedom of joy, expression, and boundless potential. By amplifying the diversity of these tech trailblazers, we ensure that every girl, regardless of race, ability, language, geographic origin, and economic status, lives their life to full potential.
To get involved and be a part of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, celebrate this day by making the girls around you feel special! Why make girls around you feel special only on special dates or on their birthdays? Appreciate the young ladies in your life by empowering them and giving them a token of your appreciation. The world will be a better place to live in the day the girl child is as happy as the other gender. Remember, little girls with dreams make strong women with vision. As we work to make their dreams come true, let’s all keep in mind that it is our responsibility to give them the importance they deserve. Happy International Day of the Girl Child!