International Day of the Girl Child

International Day of the Girl Child is a day that falls on October 11th every year and has since 2012. This day is designed to raise awareness and address the needs that girls all over the world face. It’s dedicated to fostering the empowerment of girls and ultimately enabling them to fully realize their fundamental human rights.

The History of International Day of the Girl Child

The blueprint for this observance day can be traced back to 1995. That is when the World Conference on Women in Beijing adopted the Beijing Declaration & Platform for Action. This was a progressive blueprint that advocated for the advancement of not only women’s rights but also the rights of girls.

However, this day wouldn’t be officially adopted for approximately 16 years. The holiday was first established by a United Nations declaration in December of 2011 to be celebrated starting on October 11, 2012, and continuing from that year forward.

They established this day to raise awareness of the challenges that girls all over the world have to face each day. Challenges include discrimination and abuse in many different forms.

The Challenges That Girls All Over the World Face

Girls all over the world face a number of challenges; challenges that can seriously impact the quality of their life. Below are just a small sampling of the challenges faced by girls all over the world.

Employment Opportunities

An issue that affects girls and women all over the world — including in the United States — is economic inequality. In the U.S., women only earn about 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Elsewhere in the world, it’s even worse. Worldwide, women only earn 10% of the world’s total income despite working two-thirds of the world’s total work hours.

Reproductive Health & Rights

In developing countries, over 225 million women have an unmet need for family planning. This contributes to 74 million unplanned pregnancies and 36 million abortions each year. Helping girls and women take charge of their own reproductive rights reduces the number of unsafe abortions and reduces maternal deaths by up to 70%.

Other Issues Affecting Girls:

  • Over 12 million girls under 18 are married.
  • Over 130 million girls are out of school worldwide.
  • Over 15 million girls aged 15 to 19 years old have experienced forced sex.

What to Do on International Day of the Girl Child

Since the purpose of this day is to raise public awareness of the discrimination and abuse that girls around the world suffer from, participants should do their best to raise awareness of these issues.

This is also a day to learn more about the struggles of young girls around the world and to learn more about the issues that affect a girl’s right to their fundamental freedoms and equal education. Individuals interested in girls’ rights can also contribute to organizations that directly help improve conditions and secure rights for girls both locally and around the world.

When is it?
This year (2024)
October 11 Friday
Next year (2025)
October 11 Saturday
Last year (2023)
October 11 Wednesday
Awareness & Cause, United Nations