October 11 is celebrated as International Day of the Girl Child. The idea behind the day of awareness is to spread awareness about the importance of nurturing girls globally.
This day for celebrating the girl child is also important to make people about the need for equality between the sexes. This includes areas and issues such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination.
International Day of the Girl Child is also important in the world movement for women’s equal rights. Only girls who are empowered and educated today can become fruitful contributors tomorrow in the public and private spheres.
History of the day
International Day of the Girl Child was first observed in 2012. It emerged from a project of international non-governmental organization Plan International. The organization first began with their ‘Because I am Girl’ campaign for raising awareness around issues faced by girls globally.
It was decided that October 11 would be celebrated as International Day of Girl Child on December 19, 2011, at the United Nations General Assembly in Canada.
Theme for International Day of Girl Child 2021
For 2021, the theme is ‘Digital generation. Our generation’. The UN decides the theme for each year.
On the occasion this year, the UN explained about the theme. ‘Girls know their digital realities and the solutions they need to excel on their diverse pathways as technologists for freedom of expression, joy, and boundless potential. Let’s amplify the diversity of these tech trailblazers while simultaneously widening the pathways so that every girl, this generation of girls – regardless of race, gender, language, ability, economic status and geographic origin – lives their full potential.’
Why we need to celebrate girls
International Day of the Girl Child is important because it brings the challenges that girls face in today’s world to the forefront. This is simply an occasion to discuss these issues in the mainstream.
For millions of girls in India, access to education, health care, nutrition, and safety are still far-fetched dreams. This is true for women and girls in other developing countries as well. Awareness and information about these problems faced by girls worldwide is vital to the path towards gender equality.
A girl child has the same expectations, dreams, and aspirations as a boy. However, for girls, the way towards achieving these is much more challenging. Society has set different rules for girls and boys. As a result, girls can miss out on a lot of things such as education. Moreover, they also face mental, emotional, and physical impacts of this kind of discrimination.
Smile Foundation’s ‘She Can Fly’ campaign is an attempt to enable and empower girl children with quality education, proper nutrition, good health, and a sense of self-confidence. A girl needs all this to live life to its full potential.
This campaign is also a step towards sensitizing civil society at large. It aims to help create a girl child/women friendly society to help her thrive. It is the responsibility of each one of us to ensure that we are moving towards a future that is equal, safe, and prosperous for girls.
To empower the world, we need to empower the girl child first!