Why a Day for Girls?

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“Why a day just for girls? Because girls can save the world. And we deserve a bigger part of it.” – dayofthegirl.org

October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl. The observation supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination and violence.

The International Day of the Girl initiative began as a project of Plan International. The idea for an international day of observance and celebration grew out of Plan International’s Because I Am a Girl campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of nurturing girls globally and in developing countries in particular.

International Day of the Girl was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada to the United Nations General Assembly. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass the resolution, proclaiming October 11, 2012 as the inaugural International Day of the Girl. According to Wikipedia, the resolution states that the Day of the Girl recognizes:

empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community…

As girls, we experience inequality in every aspect of our lives. There are a billion reasons why we need the Day of the Girl, but let’s start with just a few (found on dayofthegirl.org, all are linked to their source)

By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s illiterate (adult) population.  (PDF)

Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. (PDF)

Girls make up half of the high school population, but receive only 41% of all athletic participation opportunities.

Women only hold 15.7% of top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.

54% of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.

57% of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.

Females continue to be underrepresented in top roles in film with less than 1 in 3 speaking characters in children’s movies.

Why is International Day of the girl Important to you? Are you and your friends/troop doing anything to celebrate? Let us know in the comments!

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