International Day Of The Girl 2019: Unscripted And Unstoppable Girl Force
Every year, on the 11th of October, the world celebrates International Day of the Girl Child. It is a day to highlight and draw attention towards the challenges that girls face, their human rights and empowerment.
International Day of Girl was first observed in 2012, and the theme was “Ending Child Marriage”. In the following years, the themes were, “Innovating For Girls’ Education”; “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”; “The Power of Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030”; “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls”; “Empower Girls: Before, during and after crises”. Finally, the theme for 2018 was “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force.”
The theme for the 2019 International Day Of Girl is “Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable”. The day will celebrate the achievements of girls and the milestones achieved by them since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. It also dedicates itself to amplifying the voices of the girl child and standing up for the rights.
There are many core areas of focus on the International Girl Child Day. They include access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage.
According to UNICEF, nearly 25 years ago, some 30,000 women and men from nearly 200 countries arrived in Beijing, China for the Fourth World Conference on Women. They determined to recognise the rights of women and girls as human rights. The conference culminated in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This is the most comprehensive policy agenda for the empowerment of women.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) October 8, 2019
In the years following, women pressed this agenda forward. They led global movements on issues ranging from s*xual and reproductive health rights to equal pay.
Today, these movements have expanded. They are being organised by and for adolescent girls. They also tackle issues like child marriage, education inequality, gender-based violence, climate change, self-esteem, and girls’ rights to enter places of worship or public spaces during menstruation. Girls are proving they are unscripted and unstoppable.
In nearly 25 years, we have seen more girls move from dreaming to achieving.
More girls today are attending and completing school, fewer are getting married or becoming mothers while still children. Furthermore, more are gaining the skills they need to excel in the future world of work.
Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.
The progress since the Beijing Declaration is remarkable, but girls around the world – especially those living in rural areas or humanitarian settings and those with disabilities – still need us to stand with them to achieve their full potential.
As we come together to celebrate our progress, let’s work to reinforce girls’ rights to a safe childhood, to decide for themselves, and to education and skills – in short, their right to the future they want.