Our time is now, our rights, our future
In 2022, we mark the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG). Over the past 10 years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls among governments, policymakers and the general public, and more opportunities for girls to make their voices heard on the world stage. However, investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to face a myriad of challenges in reaching their potential; worsened by simultaneous crises of climate change, COVID-19 and humanitarian conflict. Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges in their education, their physical and mental well-being, and the protections necessary for a life without violence. COVID-19 has worsened existing burdens on girls around the world and eroded important gains made over the past decade.
With adversity, however, comes resourcefulness, creativity, tenacity, and resilience. The world’s 600 million adolescent girls have shown time and again that, given the skills and opportunities, they can be the drivers of change that fuel progress in their communities, building them back stronger for all, including women, boys and men. .
The girls are ready for a decade of acceleration forward. It’s time for all of us to take responsibility, with and for girls, and invest in a future that believes in their agency, leadership, and potential.
Ways to get involved
- Share human interest stories, blogs and videos change-makers, and inspiring networks and organizations that resource girls, empower girls to lead, and strengthen services for girls. Let’s collectively amplify your leadership, actions and impact to inspire others.
- Engage government officials, policy makers and stakeholders make more targeted investments that address the inequalities girls experience, especially in accessing mental health services and psychosocial support in the face of conflict, forced migration, natural disasters, and the effects of climate change.
- Engage key women influencers across all industries to be the face of the change we want girls to see as possible. Role models speak more than a thousand words. Let’s change the global conversation and public perception of girl leaders.
- Amplify your commitment to raise awareness of and address the factors holding girls back in your country and region.
In 1995, at the World Conference on Women in Beijing, countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the most progressive plan ever created to promote the rights of not only women but also girls. The Beijing Declaration is the first to specifically mention the rights of girls.
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize the rights of girls and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and promote the empowerment of girls and the fulfillment 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 supported effectively during the teenage years, girls have the potential to change the world, both as the empowered girls of today and the workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, heads of households and political leaders of tomorrow. An investment in the empowerment of adolescent girls stands up for their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, 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.
Girls are breaking down the boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators, and global movement starters, girls are creating a world that is relevant to them and future generations.
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.
Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is an integral part of each of the 17 goals. Only by guaranteeing the rights of women and girls in all the goals will we achieve justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and the maintenance of our shared environment now and for future generations.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality is critical to accelerating sustainable development. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but also has a multiplier effect on all other areas of development.