Did you know that October 11 is the “Day of the Girl Child”?
On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. For its second observance, this year’s Day will focus on “Innovating for Girls’ Education”.
The fulfilment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves: it is the one consistent positive determinant of practically every desired development outcome, from reductions in mortality and fertility, to poverty reduction and equitable growth, to social norm change and democratization.
While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers. Even when girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes. The transformative potential for girls and societies promised through girls’ education is yet to be realized.
Recognizing the need for fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the 2013 International Day of the Girl Child will address the importance of new technology, but also innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves.
All UN agencies, Member States, civil society organizations, and private sector actors have potential tools to innovate for and with girls to advance their education.
Help UN Women Australia raise $20,000 by October 11 – the International Day of the Girl Child – and secure a brighter future for girls around the world.
- Over 60 million girls worldwide are forced into marriage before the age of 18
- 125 million girls and women worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)
- 1.2 million children are being trafficked each year – many of these children are girls forced into sex trafficking
- Pregnancy is the leading cause of death worldwide for women aged 15 to 19
- Literacy rates for girls in many countries remain low – just 12% of Afghan women aged 15 and over are literate
UN Women is working to empower women and girls in more than 70 countries across the world.
For further info see https://unwomen.org.au/day-girl-child-october-11