International Day of the Girl Child: Empower Girls. End Violence.
“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” United Nations Resolution 66/170
“On this International Day of the Girl Child, I call on all governments to take action to end all forms of violence against girls in all parts of the world. Together, we must create a world where violence against women and girls is never tolerated and girls are always empowered to reach their full potential.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Did you know October 11 is the day of the girl child? For 2014, the main focus is on ending violence and empowering girls through education, equal access and basic rights. In 2008, UN Sec Gen Ban Ki-Moon said: “Violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.” Six years later, we are still battling this issue. We need all hands on deck.
Global Figures Via HalfTheSkyMovement
2014 Theme: Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence: This year, as we raise awareness on issues of Violence against girls and women, and of other forms of Global Injustice, we gather to champion the right of all girls to enjoy equal rights and freedoms, and we celebrate the recognition of Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize. Without all of us playing an equal and productive role in the world, we will all be shortchanged. If we listen to the alarm sounded by a range of UN Agencies, we might learn that 35% of girls/women are victims of violence worldwide. If we heed the advice of the World Bank, we might learn that by 2015, 64% of girls would remain illiterate unless we act to empower them. I have culled a variety of sources on the subject of girl child rights. The stats are glaring. Follow the links, read them and then consider where you stand on the subject.
“One of the most effective ways to fight poverty and bolster poor communities is through investing in education, particularly that of girls.” HalfTheSkyMovement
Malala Yousafzai addresses United Nations Youth Assembly
“The International Day of the Girl Child is an opportunity to step up collective action to break the cycle of violence against girls and women.” Empowering girls today makes for a safer, healthier, more prosperous and sustainable tomorrow. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Why Day of the Girl? According to data gathered from Plan International, UNWomen, WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, and other sources, girls remain the highest % of victims of violence globally. They are still lagging behind in education 30% not enrolled, job opportunities, freedom of speech and movement in countries around the world. When we add other areas such as negative media images, relationship abuse, sex trafficking, rape culture, gender-based violence 150M girls, Child/Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation, we see the huge chasm that must be addressed globally. Gender equity is not a fantasy. We must stop the violence and support all girls in our communities.
USA Figures via CDC.Gov
“Empowering adolescent girls: Ending the cycle of violence”. UN Women Executive Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Investing in adolescent girls to equip them with skills, confidence, and life options: through family, schools, technical and vocational education and training, and health, social and economic support systems;
Making infrastructure, services, and technology accessible to girls and effective in meeting their needs for safety, connectivity and mobility;
Facilitating adolescent girls engagement in civic, economic and political life;
Continuing to advocate for making violence against girls and women visible and unacceptable both in private and public domains;
Strengthening data, measurement and the evidence base in relation to the empowerment of
and violence against adolescent girls. Plan International
What can we do to create change? Plan International, offers some ideas in the blockquotes above and also a toolkit to encourage us all to take proactive steps. They also suggest we can: Make Noise on Social Media, Contact the Media, Lobby for Legislation, Title IX at your School, Write About It, Write to a Company, and even Start a Group. Come back later for more information on this critical issue.
Global Figures Via Visual.ly
What are your thoughts? Did you celebrate International Day Of The Girl Child? Do share! Thank you.
For More: Women’s Lives & Issues
Positive Motivation Tip: Girls can inspire change in each other and in all of us. Equal opportunity should be a given, not a privilege. Take a stand. Inspire all.
- UNICEF, International Day of the Girl Child
- UN Women, International Day of the Girl Child
- UN Women Special Focus compilation on the Girl Child, one of the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
- Message of Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director, on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child
- UN Secretary-General Campaign UNiTE to End Violence Against Women