International Day of the Girl might sound like a simple, fun celebration of all it means to be female (evoking images of Bridget Jone’s marathons and Aretha Franklin sing-alongs) but in actuality, it serves a much deeper and powerful purpose.
International Days are created by the United Nations to help raise public awareness around issues of global concern, to mobilise political capital towards solving these problems and to celebrate and reinforce humanity’s achievements—pretty impactful stuff.
What is the International Day of the Girl?
This international day was made official after the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/179 in 2011. This officially enabled October 11 to be declared the International Day of the Girl Child. Intended to recognise the unique challenges of girls all over the world and make the public aware of why we must address the biases, dangers and injustices that young girls face (especially relating to basic human rights, education and control over their own bodies); the International Day of the Girl serves as a powerful source of advocacy and empowerment.
This year’s theme— GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable will celebrate the achievements made since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; the most comprehensive policy for the empowerment of women to date, passed nearly 25 years ago at the Fourth World Conference of Women.
From equal pay to sexual and reproductive health rights; education and the reduction of violence against females: a tremendous amount of progress has been made by global movements organised and led by women, and in fact adolescent girls.
How Can you Help?
Though a great deal of work has been and continues to be done by girls and women the world over; as a global society, we still have a long way to go. If you’re interested in helping, consider donating your money or time an organisation meaningfully working towards solving the issues facing women and girls. Check out Global Fund for Women, Camfed, Pathfinder and the Malala Fund for starters. If you’re short on funds or time, helping spread the world and raise awareness can likewise made a significant impact. We’re all in it together.
If you’re interested in reading more visit the UNs Website for a detailed history and background.
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