International Day of the Girl Child

Wednesday 11 October is the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child

On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. This day is designated to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

This year’s theme is “EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after conflict”  http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child   

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“Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking. Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 per cent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.”

Video: Empowering girls—before, during, and after crises:  https://youtu.be/QYhw_TXSAL0

The UN recognises that in recent years significant progress has been made for girls in the first decade of life such as enrolling in schools, receiving key vaccinations and improved health and nutrition. However, it is the second decade that now requires significant investment. This includes obtaining quality secondary and higher education, avoiding child marriage, receiving information and services related to puberty and reproductive health, and protecting themselves against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease and gender-based violence. http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/background.shtml     

“Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.”

For more information and resources: http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/resources.shtml

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