October 11- International Day of The Girl Child

Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The international day of the girl child is celebrated worldwide to further this goal and bridge the gap in learning and equitable access to resources for young girls so that they can realize their potential.

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The most progressive blueprint for advancing girls’ and women’s rights was adopted in 1995 in Beijing called the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. 

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170, declaring October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face worldwide.

Some Statistics on The Present Scenario

  • Worldwide, nearly 1 in 4 girls is neither employed nor in education and training, compared to 1 in 10 boys of the same age. 
  • 1 in 3 women worldwide has suffered from domestic or sexual violence, which has intensified during the pandemic. 
  • Inheritance rights in land or non-land assets see discrimination against women in at least 60% of the countries worldwide either in law or practice. 
  • The global internet user gender gap is growing, from 11% in 2013 to 17% in 2019, and widest in the world’s least developed countries at 43%.
  • 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have internet access at home, with girls more likely to be cut off.
  • Globally, the percentage of females among Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates is below 15% in over two-thirds of countries.
  • And in middle and higher-income countries, only 14% of girls who were top performers in science or mathematics expected to work in science and engineering compared to 26% of top-performing boys.

Key Documents

The theme for 2021: Digital Generation, Our Generation 

Covid-19 had disproportionately affected women and girls. Therefore, the Generation Equality Forum is marking its 26-year long journey in the field of gender equality. Five-year-long commitments have been launched to ensure girls’ advancement despite the onslaught of the pandemic in 2021 by the Generation Equality Forum. 

While the pandemic has accelerated the pace of learning through digital platforms, around 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have an internet connection. The gender gap in accessing the internet in low-income countries can hover at about 43%. Only by addressing the inequity and exclusion that span geographies and generations can we usher in a digital revolution for all, with all. 

Therefore, on this day, it is essential to recognize that gender equality is a theme that runs across all the Sustainable Development Goals, and it is integral to achieving them by 2030. 

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Shristi Banerjee

Lawyer, Jharkhand High Court (India)

Global Representative (India), Roya Institute of Global Justice