For the past ten years, the United Nations General Assembly has marked the International Day of the Girl to encourage governments, policy makers and the general public to protect the rights of girls and to pay attention to actions that promote the development of girls’ full potential.
“The world’s 600 million adolescent girls have shown time and time again that given the skills and the opportunities, they can be the changemakers driving progress in their communities, building back stronger for all, including women, boys and men”, says the UN, which hopes that the next decade will see an acceleration of measures to reduce barriers and risks to their physical and mental well-being.
Recent data confirm how far we have to go to achieve equality and parity of opportunity for girls. For example, the effects of the pandemic and the economic crisis are putting girls at greater risk of forced marriage. An estimated 10 million girls are at risk.
In the least developed countries, nearly half of elementary school do not have single-sex toilets, a major factor in girls’ school attendance. More than two-thirds of these schools do not have electricity.
Only 14% of girls who are top performers in science and math can expect to work in science or engineering in middle- and high-income countries. That’s a 12% gap compared to top male students.
To get involved, it is suggested that you share real life stories of girls to showcase their talents, skills, and successes and help change attitudes. It is also a way to inspire others. Any contribution to raise awareness and fight against the factors that hinder the progress of girls in the various regions of the world is also encouraged.
Watch a video highlighting an initiative to promote girls’ education and women’s empowerment in Tanzania.