Today, October 11th, marks the first ever International Day of the Girl. This special resolution was proclaimed by the United Nations in an effort to encourage a worldwide conversation about bettering girls’ lives and providing them with more opportunities for leadership. The campaign to establish Day of the Girl was driven by School Girls Unite, a U.S. based organization made up of students and young women leaders determined to support young girls’ rights. This day is about highlighting, discussing, and advancing girls’ lives across the globe. Now that’s something to celebrate!
Day of the Girl signifies a global pledge to the advancement of girls: “In reserving a day for advocacy and action by and for girls, the UN has signaled its commitment to end gender stereotypes, discrimination, violence, and economic disparities that disproportionately affect girls… including gender violence, early marriage, child labor, and discrimination at work.”
It isn’t only about the resolution, but it is a movement that is calling on girls to spread awareness within their communities about this special day by participating in the Day of the Girls Proclamation Project. The Proclamation Project encourages girls to contact their local government offices and apply for official Day of the Girl City Proclamations. There is a fantastic toolkit available to download on the Day of the Girl website to assist anyone who wants to apply.
We cover many issues that affect girls and young women on the Women You Should Know site, promoting programs and encouraging action. Day of the Girl is the next step in moving our collective advocacy forward and turning our energy and commitment into results. Get involved!
Important Facts About Girls Today
Illiteracy: By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s (adult) population who cannot read.
School Dropout: Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. In America, the dropout rate is worse for boys but one in four girls does not finish high school, and the dropout rate is even higher for minorities.
Forced Marriage: One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before the age 15.
Violence: In the US more than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18. One in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. Worldwide children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.
Body Image: More than half (54%) of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.