The first International Day of the Girl was observed in 2012. It began as a project of Plan International, a non-governmental organization that operates worldwide.
The idea for the day grew out of Plan International’s Because I Am a Girl campaign, which is widely popular for raising awareness of the importance of nurturing girls globally.
Later, the International Day of Girls was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada in the United Nations General Assembly. And on December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass a resolution adopting October 11, 2012 as the inaugural International Day of Girls.
International Day Of The Girl Child could be described as the brainchild of the World Conference on Women. In 1995, at the conference in Beijing, it was decided that such a day dedicated to the growth of girls around the world was a necessity. As a result, countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This made the declaration the first of its kind; in that, it separated the girl child from the umbrella of women and acknowledged their specific needs. Observed on October 11, the day focuses on the rights, safety and education of girls. The core objective is to make girls an active part of the progress of the world.
As part of the celebration, a theme is selected to highlight the need of the hour. This year, the theme has been set as “Digital generation. Our generation,” acknowledging the growing digital world and how a digital gap can also widen the gender gap.
Access to education, healthcare services, skill-based learning facilities, equal opportunities, safeguards against gender-based violence and discrimination are common themes that are worked upon year after year. In accordance with this year’s theme, “Digital generation. Our generation,” the focus is on bridging the digital divide. According to the United Nation, even in the post-COVID-19 world that saw businesses, education and even parts of healthcare services moving online, “2.2 billion people below the age of 25 still do not have Internet access at home.”
The report further noted that girls are more likely to be cut off, pointing to a gender divide within the digital divide. It was also stated that girls are less likely than boys to “use and own devices.” This, in turn, affects their numbers in “tech-related skills and jobs”.
You can be a part of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child by sharing stories, writing a blog, or sharing videos of inspiring adolescent girls who have done remarkable things in various fields of life.
You can start a short social media campaign to raise funds for underprivileged girls or you could just educate your friends and followers by sharing some facts and statistics about young girls.
For example – Worldwide and collectively, girls ages 5 to 14 spend more than 160 million hours more on household chores than boys of the same age do