International Day of the Girl Child Launches today October 11th 2012
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
For its first observance, this year’s Day will focus on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk to be a victim of violence and abuse, jeopardizes her health and therefore constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of nearly every Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the development of healthy communities.
Girl Facts Around the World
- Globally, 77.6 million girls are currently not enrolled in either primary or secondary education (UNESCO)
- Of 163 million illiterate youth in the world, more than half – 63 percent – are female. (UNFPA)
- Around the world, 250 million adolescent girls live in poverty (Girl Effect)
- When international development funds are allocated, less than 2 cents of every dollar is directed specifically to girls. (The Coalition for Adolescent Girls)
- An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent (World Bank)
- Sixty-five low and middle income countries are losing approximately $92 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same standards as boys. (Global Compact Summary)
- When a girl in the developing world receives 7 or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children. (UN Population Fund)
- A girl who completes basic education is three times less likely to contract HIV. (Make It Right)
- Children born to educated mothers are twice as likely to survive past the age of 5. (Make It Right)
- One in three girls who completes primary school in Africa and South Asia cannot read, write or do simple math. (Council on Foreign Relations)
Watch a video of 13 and a bride, Meet Mariama 13, who has just discovered she is about to join the 40% of girls in Niger who marry before they are 15.
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Read more here to support and celebrate the Girl Child
photo source: USAID Kenya