October 11: International Girl Child Day

The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated every year on October 11. This year the day was celebrated under the theme “My voice, our equal future”.

Significance of the day

The day is celebrated with an objective to empower women. The day seeks to help women to get their rights in order to make them strong for the challenges they face in the world. The day is observed in order to curb the challenges that girls face.

Challenges faced by Girls

  • Early marriages: 12 million girls are married before age 18 each year.
  • Sexual violence: One in five girls experience sexual violence globally.
  • HIV infection: According to World Health Organisation (WHO) 80% of new HIV infections are among adolescent girls.
  • Other challenges include infanticide and gender inequality.

Background

The Beijing Declaration was the first conference that call out for girl’s right. The Beijing Declaration was adopted on the occasion of World Conference on Women that took place in Beijing in 1995. Later, on December 19, 2011 United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution 66/170 and declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. In the line, the first International Day of the Girl Child was observed in 2012 with the theme “Ending Child Marriage”.