International Day of the Girl Child is a worldwide celebration that promotes the importance and equal treatment of the female child. It is observed every year on October 11. United Nations declared such observance to raise awareness against inaccessible education, discrimination, violence, female foeticide, and forced child marriages. International Day of the Girl Child was formally proposed by Canada to the UN as a part of their "Because I am a Girl" campaign. On December 19, 2011, the general assembly made the following resolutions:
"Recognizing that empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families, and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community"*
Thousands of girls, one in five to be exact, are subjected to child marriage globally. In non-developed countries, the number steeps lower where 40% are married before the age of 14, and 12% are married before 15. Countries from the African and South Asian continent have made it to the top 10 highest rates of child marriages. Similar heinous crimes like abortion of the girl child, harassment are increasing day by day (One in three women is subjected to sexual and non-sexual violence at least once in their lifetime). The least safe countries for women include South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, India, Thailand, and more. To stop this, events like "The International Day of the Girl Child" should be used to foster information and advocate for female rights.
As summarized in Linda Nochlin's famous essay, "Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists," it has been made clear that institutions have shown bias in guiding students based on their genders. Lack of mentorship and guidance has bound women to not excel in various fields. If girls are supported effectively during their adolescent years, they have the potential to change the world.
Girls are breaking down barriers every single day now. They are prospering in all fields, including sports, science, literature. Every minute, new records are set, inspiring more girls to come forward and showcase their talent. As politicians, astronauts, athletes, poets, doctors, engineers, and much more, they create an environment that encourages gender equity.
*Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on December 19th 2011; 66/170. International Day of the Girl Child
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