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October 11 – The International Day of the Girl Child

The International Girl Child Day declared by the United Nations is also referred to as the Day of Girls or the International Day of The Girl. October 11th, 2012 was the first Day of the Girl Child. This day supports offering more opportunities for girls and increases awareness on gender inequality faced by girls worldwide.

This initiative began as a project of Plan International, an NGO that operates worldwide and advances children’s rights and equality for girls in over 75 countries. The idea for an international day of observance and celebration grew out of Plan International’s Because I Am a Girl campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of nurturing girls globally and in developing countries in particular.

Various events to promote the Day of Girls are planned in several countries. Some are sponsored by the United Nations, such as a concert in Mumbai, India. Non-governmental organizations such as Girl Guides Australia, also support related events and activities. Social media uses the hashtag #dayofthegirl to track events and news about the day.

The Day of the Girls helps raise awareness not only of the issues that girls face, but also of what is likely to happen when those problems are solved. For example, educating girls helps reduce the rate of child marriage, diseases, and helps strengthen the economy by giving girls access to higher paying jobs. In order to achieve success, we must focus on ensuring that every girl has a right to:

  • Receive education
  • Access healthcare
  • Freedom from violence
  • Freedom from risk of early child marriage or female genital mutilation

If you feel these are just a few exaggerated, rhetorical rants, here are some fast facts you should get acquainted with, this International Girl Child Day:

Gender Bias

By the age of 6, girls already consider boys more likely to show brilliance and more suited to ‘really, really smart’ activities than their own gender.

Child Marriage

33,000 girls will become child brides today.

Household Inequities

Worldwide, girls aged 5-14 spend more than 160 million hours more on household chores than boys of the same age do.

Sexual Exploitation

Women and girls make up 96% of those trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Domestic Labor Inequities

Girls aged 5-14 spend 550 million hours on unpaid care work every day.

This 11th October, on International Girl Child Day, let us take a pledge, to get into action, to join hands and to work toward a better future for our wonderful, beautiful, amazingly talented girls. Appreciate and uplift girls, whenever, wherever, and however you can.

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