The first International Day of the Girl will be celebrated throughout the world on 11th October 2012. In December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to establish this day. According to the UN General Assembly, “this day is about “helping galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
- By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s (adult) population who cannot read.
- Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school.
- One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.
- Worldwide children as young as 11 are forced to work as prostitutes.
- More than half (57%) of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.
- United Nations Declaration of Human Rights – Article 26
- Millennium Development Goals – MDG # 2,3,4,5, 6
- Convention on the Rights of the Child – Articles 12, 19, 24, 28, 31
- Beijing Platform for Action – Sections L.4, L.5, L.7, L.8
- Commission on the Status of Women 51st session
So, what are we to do? The first step is to be aware and acknowledge what individual and institutional barriers exist for the girl child in my own country. Secondly, be knowledgeable with regard to international and national laws that deprogram gender bias and stereotypes. Lastly, with voice and action, promote greater gender equality in solidarity with girls.