Published: 11th October 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: Tenth anniversary of the International Day of Girl Child. What is its significance?
The UN commemorates the International Day of Girl Child today, October 11 and this year’s theme is, 'Our time is now — our rights, our future'
October 11 marks the 10th anniversary of the International Day of Girl Child. The day calls for people to raise awareness about the challenges faced by girls and to become voices of change. The United Nations commemorates this day every year and 2022 is its 10th anniversary. With the theme, 'Our time is now — our rights, our future', the UN observes the day to acknowledge the importance of empowering adolescent girls so that they become a driving force of progress for society.
What is the history and significance of the day?
The World Conference on Women in Beijing was the first time that countries came together to adopt the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action to call out for the rights of women and girls. The International Day of the Girl Child, however, was first observed in the year 2012 after the United Nations passed resolution 66/170. It was on December 9, 2011, when the decision was taken to observe October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Every year, a new theme is picked and the theme for the first year was about ending child marriages.
About observing the day the United Nations website writes: “Achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment is integral to each of the 17 goals. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls across all the goals will we get to justice and inclusion, economies that work for all, and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.”
What is the theme this year?
A theme is assigned to the International Day of the Girl Child day every year by the United Nations for its observance. The theme for this year is, 'Our time is now — our rights, our future'. Girls face a multitude of struggles related to education, health and all of that has escalated post the global pandemic and the climate change crisis.
Specifying on the theme this year the United Nations website reads: “Girls are ready for a decade of acceleration forward. It is time for us all to stand accountable — with and for girls — and to invest in a future that believes in their agency, leadership and potential.”
How can one get involved?
The United Nations calls for people to get involved to observe this day and they have listed on their websites a number of ways in which individuals can partake in the day. Here they are:
- Sharing the stories of girls who are changing the game and of inspirational groups, networks and organisations who are helping them
- Work with the government, policymakers and other stakeholders to make more investments to tackle inequalities girls face, particularly when it comes to mental health, seeking support during conflict and so on
- Engage female influencers to present a motivational front when it comes to inspiring others
- Raise awareness about all that ails girls