International Day of the Girl Child: Know Why It Is So Important
International Day of the Girl or International Girl Child Day is celebrated on October 11 every year. The aim of the day is to promote the empowerment of a girl child by arming her with her rights. “Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable” is the theme this year. The day acknowledges the accomplishments of a girl child and celebrates the various milestones that they have achieved.
The core areas the day focusses on are access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage
- International Girl Child Day is celebrated on October 11 every year with an aim to promote girls worldwide.
- This year, the theme for the day is “Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable”.
- Education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage are some of the core areas the day focusses on.
Aim this year
The World Conference of Women took place 25 years ago in Beijing. It brought more than 30,000 women from 200 countries together with the aim of recognizing the rights of women and girls as human rights. By the end of the conference, a new policy agenda was born: the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It led to movements tackling issues such as reproductive rights to equal pay. This year’s theme is derived from the said conference.
“Today, these movements have expanded,” the UN states on its website. “They are being organised by and for adolescent girls, and tackling issues like child marriage, education inequality, gender-based violence, climate change, self-esteem, and girls’ rights to enter places of worship or public spaces during menstruation. Girls are proving they are unscripted and unstoppable.”
Here is a list of issues that are affecting girls across the world:
According to a report by Girls Not brides, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 every year. This is equal to 23 girls every minute or nearly one every two seconds.
If the same trends continue, 150 million more girls will be married as children by 2030.
Women account for two-thirds of the 796 million illiterate people in the world.
Interestingly, each year spent in school increases a girl’s future wages by 10-20%. It also encourages them to marry later in life and give birth to fewer children. Higher levels of education also lead to reductions in infant mortality, maternal deaths, civil conflict, and war.
About 218 million children between ages five and 17 are employed worldwide. However, only 152 million of these are believed to be victims of child labor.
According to UNICEF, 600 million adolescent girls will start work in the next decade and 90 percent of those living in developing countries will go into informal roles where abuse and exploitation are rife.
Female Genital Mutilation
According to WHO, more than 200 million girls and women alive today have gone through female genital mutilation. This number is increasing by about 3 million girls each year.
Most girls endure mutilation before they turn 15, with some areas mutilating girls when they’re only a few months old.