Annually observed on October 11, International Day of the Girl Child stands as a beacon of hope and empowerment for girls across the globe. Rooted in the visionary ideals of the World Conference on Women, this day is a resounding call to champion the rights, potential, and leadership of girls worldwide.
The International Day of the Girl Child, often referred to as International Girl Child Day, falls on the 11th of October each year, marking an occasion to celebrate and amplify the voices of girls. The central theme for the year 2023 resonates with an unwavering commitment: “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-Being.” On this significant day, UNICEF redoubles its dedication to supporting girls and safeguarding their rights.
The United Nations, in a statement, aptly emphasizes the imperative need for action, saying, “Responding to girls’ calls for change, the global community must move beyond reaffirming commitments and invest boldly in the action needed to make that change. When we pay attention, we see that, already, many girls are championing solutions and change in their communities.”
Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, underscores the paramount importance of investing in girls’ leadership. In doing so, we enable them to achieve their aspirations and propel the cause of gender equality forward. Guterres wisely states, “Women and girls can lead us to a fairer future. Let us amplify girls’ voices and recommit to working together to build a world where every girl can lead and thrive.”
A Historical Journey
The roots of International Day of the Girl Child can be traced back to the World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995. During this watershed moment, nations collectively embraced the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, a revolutionary blueprint aimed at advancing not only women’s rights but also those of girls. Significantly, the Beijing Declaration was the first international instrument to specifically recognize the rights of girls.
It was on December 19, 2011, that the United Nations General Assembly took a momentous step by adopting Resolution 66/170. This resolution designated October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, a day dedicated to acknowledging the rights of girls and acknowledging the unique challenges they encounter worldwide.
Today, as we commemorate International Day of the Girl Child, let us renew our commitment to empowering and nurturing the potential of girls everywhere. Together, let us build a world where International Girl Child Day is not just a celebration but a daily reality, where girls can lead, thrive, and shape a more equitable future for all.
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