International Day of the Girl Child is an annual and internationally recognized observance on October 11 that empowers girls and amplifies their voices. Like its adult version, International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, International Day of the Girl Child acknowledges the importance, power, and potential of adolescent girls by encouraging the opening up of more opportunities for them. At the same time, this day is designated to eliminate gender-based challenges that little girls face around the world, including child marriages, poor learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination.
Calling out for the rights of women and girls was first achieved by the Beijing Declaration in 1995 at the World Conference on Women in Beijing. In the history of the world, it was the first-ever blueprint to have identified the need for addressing issues faced by adolescent girls all around the world.
International Day of the Girl Child began as part of the international, non-governmental organization Plan International’s campaign “Because I am a Girl.” The campaign was designed to nurture girls — especially in developing countries, promote their rights, and bring them out of poverty. International Day of the Girl Child was born as an idea during the campaign and grew into practice when its representatives requested the Canadian federal government to seek a coalition of supporters. Eventually, the United Nations became involved.
It was then formally proposed by Canada to be passed as a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. Consequently, on December 19, 2011, the U.N. General Assembly successfully adopted the resolution of recognizing October 11, 2012, as the inaugural day of International Day of the Girl Child, which was specifically centered around the grave issue of child marriages.
Its verdict beautifully describes the true empowerment of the girl child who’s as critical to economic growth as boys. It recognizes that the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect their lives is the key to break the cycle of discrimination and violence and empower young ladies to become inspirited, free women of tomorrow.