International Day of the Girl Child and why it matters

Nearly twenty-five years ago 30,000 individuals from nearly 200 countries arrived in Beijing, China, for the Fourth World Conference on Women, resolute on recognising women’s rights as human rights. These countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and in the years following this, women pressed this agenda forward, leading global movements on issues ranging from sexual and reproductive health rights to equal pay. Today these movements have grown exponentially and are being organized by and for adolescent girls from several backgrounds and situations, these girls are confidently demanding action against discrimination, violence and poor learning opportunities. Launched in 2012 by the United Nations general assembly, the International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated annually on the 11th of October to promote the empowerment of girls and address the fulfillment of their human rights while highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face.

The Day of The Girl Summit which is held at the United Nations headquarters every year, aims to bring together organisations that serve girls to further the advancement of their human rights. The issues focused on by the International Day of the Girl Child include equality, education, child marriage, access to services regarding puberty and sexual health as well as addressing issues around gender based violence. The aim is to effectively support adolescent girls as they mature into women so that they are equipped with the skills required for them to change the world both as empowered girls of today and tomorrow’s leaders.