International Day of the Girl Child

11 October

On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, political leaders and mothers. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.

Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO, and the support of young girls, their training and their full ability to make their voices and ideas heard are drivers for sustainable development and peace. In too many cases accross the globe, teenage girls drop out of school, due to forced marriages or child labor. UNESCO is committed to celebrating this day to ensure that all girls have access to quality education and a dignified life.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"That is why UNESCO, the United Nations lead agency for education in the context of the 2030 Agenda, is working with the international community so that girls can benefit from 12 years of basic education free of charge. It is committed to ensuring that States include in school curricula issues relating to gender equality, health and sexuality, so as to break with the social habits and collective representations that impede girls’ freedom and constitute barriers to their intellectual formation and social and professional integration."

— Audrey Azoulay Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child

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