In 2012, as the result of youth advocacy around the world, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. This year, International Day of the Girl focuses on the theme, “EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict“.

There are 1.1 billion girls in the world, and every one of them deserves equal opportunities for a better future. They are a source of energy, power and creativity. They can drive change and help build a better future for all. Yet, most girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises are suffering even more.

Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking. Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 per cent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.

Across the world, empowered girls are raising their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts. They are working to end violence against women and girls, to recognize indigenous rights, and to build peaceful and cohesive communities.

October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement.

We join this movement because we want girls everywhere, to be seen as equals, in the eyes of others and in our own eyes.

 

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