In 2011, recognizing the desperate conditions and rights violations of so many young females around the world, the United Nations declared October 11th to be International Day of the Girl.
The mission of the day is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girl’s lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
According to UN Resolution 66/170, “Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights.”
The Reason for Day of the Girl
In addition to the goal of bettering girl’s lives, the International Day of the Girl came about as a direct response to growing concerns over the real plights of young women in many countries around the world.
Child marriage, female genital mutilation, and trafficking are destroying lives and holding girls back from developing into the fully realized women that they can be. Too many girls’ lives are cut short by violence, prejudice, and a lack of educational opportunities.
Educating girls makes educated women, and educated women make a better world.
The World Bank agrees:
“Girls’ education is a strategic development priority. Better educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labor market, earn higher incomes, have fewer children, marry at a later age, and enable better health care and education for their children, should they choose to become mothers. All these factors combined can help lift households, communities, and nations out of poverty.
According to UNESCO estimates, 130 million girls between the age of 6 and 17 are out of school and 15 million girls of primary-school age—half of them in sub-Saharan Africa— will never enter a classroom.”
In addition to raising awareness and fighting back against the issues plaguing young women around the world, The International Day of the Girl is also about gathering data so we can better understand the extent and severity of the struggles many girls face.
That’s why this year’s theme is Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement.
Data will allow us to understand the problem with greater clarity and devise better solutions to help the young women of the world overcome. Or, as the UN succinctly writes, “we need more numbers to help more girls.”
How to Contribute
If you’d like to contribute and help fight for girls’ rights then stop by Dayofthegirl.org to learn about events and activities in your area.
There are also numerous organizations fighting for female rights and gender justice right now, and they could really use your support. Some of our favorites are the Malala Fund, Invisible Girl Project, and She’s the First. But, that’s just to name a few!
You can also give directly to the Day of the Girl’s Justgive.org page.