Do you have any questions about what the International Day of the Girl is, and why it’s important? Get your questions answered below!
What: This year we’re celebrating the very first International Day of the Girl! It’s a way to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges that girls face around the world, as well as celebrating their power and potential! We are using the first ever Day of the Girl to shine a light on the importance of girls’ education.
When: October 11, 2012
Where: It’s not called the International Day of the Girl for nothing! Check out how we’re celebrating the Day of the Girl in Toronto, and stay tuned for information on Friday about more events happening online and across Canada.
Who: Girls and their allies everywhere!
Why: Girls face double discrimination because of their age and gender. In many parts of the world they face unique challenges, like:
- Barriers to education and opportunities to make a living
- Early and forced marriage
These challenges require specific and urgent attention. By making progress in these areas, girls will have the tools to create a better life for themselves and lift entire nations out of poverty. Here’s why:
- For every year a girl stays in school, her income rises by 15%
- A woman who is educated will marry later and have fewer, healthier children
- Women invest more of their income in their families than men do
So, how can a single ‘Day’ change all this?
Commemorative days provide an important opportunity to shine a light on specific issues, and have communities around the world join together for global action. They are also a good time to ask governments (and individuals!) to make changes that will improve people’s lives.
The Day of the Girl will do all of those things. It gives us a powerful way to highlight the particular needs and rights of girls, and to advocate for greater action and investment to enable girls to reach their full potential.
As Girl Speakers Bureau member Saba told a room of Diplomats at the United Nations: “All women were once girls, but not all girls will become women.”
How: On September 22, 2009, Plan Canada and Because I am a Girl launched a petition to advocate for the creation of the Day of the Girl. We asked for support from Canadian Members of Parliament and Rona Ambrose, Minister for the Status of Women, took up the cause. With her support – as well as your letters to MPs and signatures on the petition – Canada’s Parliament decided to lead the call for the Day of the Girl at the United Nations. On October 11, 2011, Minister Ambrose addressed the United Nations, asking member states to declare a Day of the Girl. Finally, on December 19, 2011, the United Nations formally adopted October 11 as the International Day of the Girl! To learn more about how the Day of the Girl came to be, check out our timeline.
Want to celebrate the International Day of the Girl? Here are tons of ways you can get involved!