International Day of Girls is an international observance day declared by the United Nations. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of Girls, an initiative that started as a Plan international project. The International Day of girls was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada in the United Nations General Assembly.
The reasons for celebrating the girl child day is to promote the girls’ position in the society to make their living better among society people, create more opportunity for Girls and increase awareness of gender inequality faced by Girls worldwide. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and child marriage. 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”.
The idea for an international day of observance and celebration grew out of Plan International’s Girl campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of nurturing Girls globally and in developing countries in particular.
Rona Ambrose, then Canada’s Minister for the Status of Women sponsored the resolution that gave birth to the celebration of the girl child day; a delegation of women and Girls made presentations in support of the initiative at the 55th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass a resolution adopting October 11, 2012, as the inaugural International Day of Girls. The resolution states that the Day of Girls recognizes the empowerment of, and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community.
Each year’s Day of Girls has a theme; the first was “ending child marriage”, the second, in 2013, was “innovating for girl’s education”, the third, in 2014, was “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”, and the fourth, in 2015 was “The Power of Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030”. The 2016 theme was “Girls’ Progress Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls.” The 2017 theme was “EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises”, while the theme for this year is: With Her: A Skilled Girl Force. Social media uses the hashtag #dayofthegirl.
YEDI AND THE GIRL CHILD
As they say, EDUCATE A GIRL CHILD AND EMPOWER A NATION. Since 2014, the YEDI SKILLZ Girl project has empowered over 15,000 disadvantaged adolescent girls, aged 13 – 19 years with a girls-only curriculum that contributes to the reduction of HIV/AIDS among girls and women in Nigeria. The girls have been empowered with knowledge on vital issues relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights, life and leadership skills and physical well-being, to enable them successfully transition into adulthood and achieve their full potential as productive members of the society.