International Day of the Girl Child

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International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of the Girl and the International Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl. The observation supports more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as right to education/access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and unfree child marriage.

The International Day of the Girl Child initiative began as a project of Plan International, a non-governmental organization that operates worldwide. 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. Plan International representatives in Canada approached the Canadian federal government to seek to the coalition of supporters raised awareness of the initiative internationally.

International Day of the Girl Child was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada in the United Nations General Assembly. Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister for the Status of Women, sponsored the resolution; a delegation of women and girls made presentations in support of the initiative at the 55th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass a resolution adopting October 11, 2012 as the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child.[1] The resolution states that the Day of the Girl recognizes

[the] empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community [...] [2]

Each year's Day of the Girl has a theme; the first was "ending child marriage",[3] the second, in 2013, was "innovating for girl's education",[4] the third, in 2014, was "Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence." [5] and the fourth, in 2015 was "The Power of Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030".

Events worldwide[edit]

Buildings (here the Planetarium Hamburg) are illuminated in the color pink by Plan International to draw attention to the interests of girls worldwide.

Various events to promote the Day of the Girl are planned in several countries. Some are sponsored by the United Nations, such as a concert in Mumbai, India.[6] Non-governmental organizations, such as the Girl Guides Australia, are supporting events and activities for International Day of the Girl Child.[7] Local organizations have developed their own events, such as Girls and Football South Africa, who will distribute T-shirts on International Day of the Girl Child to commemorate the 1956 Black Sash march by 20,000 women.[8] An all-day event was held on London's South Bank in 2013, which included theatre and film performances produced by Body Gossip, an organisation that campaigns on body image and mental health issues.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ambrose, Rona and Rosemary McCarney (December 29, 2011). "International Day of the Girl Child: girls' rights are human rights". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly: 66/170 International Day of the Girl Child". United Nations. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ "WHO | Ending child marriage". 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  4. ^ International Day of the Girl Child, WHO
  5. ^ "Day of the Girl Child - Gender equality - UNICEF". UNICEF. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Bhandary, Shreya (September 25, 2012). "'Because I am a Girl Rock Concert' to celebrate first ever 'International Day of the Girl Child'". Times of India. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ "International Day of the Girl Child". Girl Guides Australia. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  8. ^ "South Africa: Women, Football and Song". All Africa (orig. in Daily Maverick). September 14, 2012. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ Martinson, Jane (11 October 2013). "Body Gossip puts spotlight on models and body image". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 


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