International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October 2019

“GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable” the theme for this year’s Day of the Girl Child, rings of action, of liberation of an unrelenting flood of positivity. In 2012, the United Nations dedicated Oct 11 as The International Day of the Girl Child to promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities. The UN felt a need to raise awareness of the challenges that millions of girls face every day as discrimination and violence against girls and violations of their human rights still exist.

In 1995 at the 4th World Conference on Women, the outcome document Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), listed 12 critical areas of concern of which “Persistent discrimination against and violation of the rights of the girl child”- was one important area.

It called for a world where every girl and woman can realise all her rights. The framework provides nine Strategic Objectives for actions to be taken by governments. As signatories to the acceptance of the BPfA, states need to focus on-

  • Elimination of violence, negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls, economic exploitation of girls,
  • Discrimination in education or skill development, in health care,
  • Promotion of awareness in social and political life, while improving her status in the family.

Nearly 25 years later, BPfA remains a powerful foundation for assessing progress on gender equality. As we celebrate the many sparkling achievements and several momentous hurdles crossed, newer challenges arise stalling complete progress toward a discrimination free environment for the girl child.

Soroptimists through their projects, work to reinforce girls’ rights to a safe childhood, enabling them have a right to the future they want.

Let us come together to celebrate the progress, as we honour and dwell on what the world can do for the girl child.

Nisha Ghosh
APD Violence and Conflict Resolution