International Day of the Girl Child: History, importance, and how to contribute

International Day of the Girl Child: This year, the UN urges the world to bridge the gender digital divide that exists in diverse skills and jobs – a challenge that society is increasingly facing due to the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
International Day of the Girl Child (File Photo / REUTERS)
International Day of the Girl Child (File Photo / REUTERS)
Updated on Oct 11, 2021 07:22 AM IST
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Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The International Day of the Girl Child is observed annually on October 11, a date set by the United Nations to urge the global community to embolden gender equality impacts. This year, the UN urges the world to bridge the gender digital divide that exists in diverse skills and jobs – a challenge that society is increasingly facing due to the prevailing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. “The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices, and use, skills and jobs is real,” the UN said in an official statement detailing the significance of the International Day of the Girl Child 2021. “It is an inequity and exclusion gap across geographies and generations that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all, by all.”

International Day of the Girl Child: History

A blueprint for a proper framework of recognising girls' rights first began to take shape in 1995 at the World Conference on Women in China. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, which was unanimously adopted by all the countries present, was since regarded as “the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing the rights of not only women but girls.”

Later, on December 18, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise the unique challenges that girls face around the world, which may share links but also be completely different from the kind of challenges that women face.

International Day of the Girl Child: Significance

Adolescent girls go through an exceptionally important phase where they can be empowered with the right tools to change the world by ensuring a safe, educated, and healthy lifestyle. They have the potential to be both the empowered girl of today as well as tomorrow’s worker, mother, entrepreneur, mentor, household head, or political leader. According to the United Nations, “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.”

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) adopted by world leaders in 2015 embody a roadmap for progress that is sustainable and leaves no one behind. Each of the 17 goals is integral to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment.

International Day of the Girl Child: How to be involved

According to the UN, there are more than a few ways one can get involved with promoting the International Day of the Girl Child. One can share stories, blogs, and videos of inspiring adolescent girls who are tech trailblazers while collectively amplifying the call to action to expand these pathways for every girl, everywhere.

Moreover, people can also make themselves more aware of the ways to address the gender digital divide and further amplify the means to achieving meaningful and sustainable change in a digital revolution.

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