International Day of the Girl Child
Yesterday was the 8th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child. Declared an international observance day on October 11, 2012, by the United Nations. It marks an annual celebration of girls across the globe and reminds us of the barriers they face and the challenges they must overcome: gender inequality. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage.
This day is also called the Day of the Girls and the International Day of the Girl. United Nations General Assembly on December 19, 2011, adopted a resolution to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.Thus the first International Day of the Girl Child was observed on October 11, 2012 and its theme at that time was “Ending Child Marriage. “Since then this day has been observed on the same day every year with a new theme.
The theme of International Day of the Girl 2020 is “My voice, our equal future. ” International Day of the Girl 2020 will focus on their demands to:
–Live free from gender- based violence, harmful practices and HIV and AIDS
–Learn new skills towards the futures they choose
–Lead as a generation of activists accelerating social change
A very important aspect is that what is the need for observing such a day? Well we are all aware that girls face a lot of issues in their life, whether it’s India or any other country in the world, they are expected to suffer and bear the pain. Starting from female infanticide to gender inequality to sexual abuse, there is no dearth of issues.Thus to curb these menace and to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. International Girl Child Day is observed every year.
The celebration of the day also “reflects the successful emergence of girls and young women as a distinct cohort in development policy, programming, campaigning and research.”
On this day various events and campaigns are organised to raise awareness about the challenges faced by girls across the world and creating a healthy and safe environment for every girl child.
If we come to statistics, more than 62 million girls around the world had no access to education, as of 2014, according to USAID. Worldwide and collectively girls aged 5 to 14 spend more than 160 million hours more on household chores than boys of the same age do.12 million girls are married before age 18 each year. However, a lot of progress has been made in the last two decades to ensure every girl is able to grow and develop in good health, still, there is much to do.
A major initiative taken by the government of India to educate the girl child, is a campaign named “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” that aims to generate awareness and improve the efficiency of welfare services intended for girls in India.
A well said quote of Michelle Obama is- “When girls are educated, their countries become stronger and more prosperous.”
The main objective of this day is to empower women and help them to get their rights so that they can face the challenges all over the world and meet their needs.
In India, National Girl Child Day is celebrated on January 24 every year. The day was an initiative of the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2008.
“When women participate in the economy, everyone benefits.”- Hillary Clinton
U H S Mukeriya