The International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated annually on October 11 to empower and amplify the voices of young girls around the world. The theme, this year, is “Digital generation. Our generation”. Like every year, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will celebrate International Day of the Girl Child 2021 reaffirming its pledge to promote the progress of girls and safeguard their rights.
Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is an integral part of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that UN member nations adopted in 2015. The International Day of the Girl Child holds the key to achieving this as empowering women and girls, who represent half of the world’s population, is crucial to accelerating sustainable development. Nations need to pledge to assist young girls to grow into empowered women, who have access to proper healthcare, skill-based learning facilities and equal opportunities in a world free from gender-based violence and discrimination.
The initiative began as a non-government, international plan of action to address the challenges faced by young women. In 1995, at the World Conference on Women in Beijing, the need for an event focussed on young and vulnerable girls was identified. A resolution to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child was adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011. In 2020, we marked 25 years of the adoption of the Beijing declaration.