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International day of the Girl Child: Reimagining a better world for our girls today!

Ipshita Bagchi

International Day of the Girl Child

"Support girls. Listen to girls. Help girls realize their dreams” -  Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF

International Day of the Girl Child is annually observed on the 11th of October worldwide. This day aims to help amplify the rights and voice of girls everywhere.

It acknowledges the various challenges that girls face today and encourages people to promote their well being. 

In a world where crime and violence against girls is at its peak, it is the need of the hour to be the voice that these girls need today. They may be unable to stand up for themselves, but this is our chance to show them that humanity has not died yet. Girls today have the ability and the power to break the shackles that hold them down and to move beyond the stereotypes and prejudices that are held against their favor in the society.

International Girl Child Day

International Girl Child Day 2020: Theme

The theme for this year's International Day of the Girl Child is ‘My voice, Our Equal Future’. This theme focuses on the changes that adolescent girls wish to bring about in the world and comprehensive solutions to achieve those targets. As this day celebrates the girl child, we believe that it is of utmost importance that their views and opinions about today’s global condition should be taken into consideration. In an effort to assert the power of adolescent as change makers, International Day of the Girl 2020 aims to focus on their demands to:

  • Live free from gender-based violence, harmful practices, and HIV and AIDS  
  • Learn new skills towards the futures they choose  
  • Lead as a generation of activists accelerating social change

2020 reimagines a better world inspired and led by adolescent girls, as part of the global Generation Equality movement, which was too launched in 2020 as a campaign as well as a movement for bold action on gender equality. 

When was the International Day of the Girl Child established?

In 1995 in Beijing, the World Conference on Women the countries present unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, following which on December 19, 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. 

2020 marks 25 years of the Declaration and  for working towards empowering girls and their rights globally.

Why celebrate International Girl Child Day?

Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating development today.

Girls all around the world are facing an entire spectrum of problems that are often too horrific to think of. Girls worldwide have the basic right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not just during their formative years, but even when they grow up to be independent women. 

It is essential for people to realize the potential that exists within girls, and it is our responsibility as empathetic human beings to provide them with the basic resources to help them achieve and harness their potential.

Due to the misogynistic mentality that is still prevalent today, even the mere right to life is denied to girls, with family members promoting and engaging in cruel acts like female foeticide and infanticide .

We as educated and empowered human beings have the ability to change the fate of such girls. If provided with enough support, girls can easily tap into their inner potentials and bring massive changes to this world. By investing our time, energy and faith in adolescent girls today can help uphold their rights and provide to them the same opportunities that boys at their age are receiving today. 

International Girl Child Day 2020

How can I get involved in this movement?

  • Share stories of inspiring adolescent girls or girl-led organizations who are developing innovative solutions or leading efforts towards positive social change, including gender equality, in their communities and nations. 
  • Participate in a youth-led digital activation launching on International Day of the Girl. Young people across the world are developing a digital activism campaign, aiming to raise the diversity of girls’ voices and their vision for a reimagined future.  
  • Educate those around you who may be unaware of the current situation of girls today. For instance, making your house helpers aware of the importance of educating their girl child can help prevent them from sending their daughter to get married at the age of 13.
  • Upload stories of Instagram. Make people aware through your posts about the problems that young girls face today. Social media has the power to bring revolutionary changes.
  • Engage in discussions with elders who might still be biased towards the male child. A change in someone's perspective can go a long way.
  • Finally, stand up for yourself and those around you. Be aware of your rights. Speak up and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Together let’s amplify our voice and actions to inspire everyone around us and pledge to protect our girls today!

Read next: Delhi University student beaten to death over friendship with girl

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