19 December 2011: The United Nations has declared October 11 as ‘International Day of the Girl Child’, following an extensive campaign by Plan.
The move comes thanks to the passion and commitment of girls themselves who have lobbied the UN with support from Plan, the Canadian government and all the UN member states, as well as the thousands of people who signed our petition.
Girls face double discrimination due to their gender and age, and are the most marginalised and discriminated group across the globe. This new world day will help to prioritise girls’ rights as the salient issue in the coming decades.
By designating October 11th as Day of the Girl we are all agreeing to put a special focus on the rights of girls throughout the world
“By designating October 11th as Day of the Girl we are all agreeing to put a special focus on the rights of girls throughout the world. We know that in many countries girls get left behind in all areas of life from school to work and many are prevented from fulfilling their true potential by severe discrimination and prejudice,” said Plan Chief Executive Officer Nigel Chapman.
Many girls have been calling for a Day of the Girl – including Lil Shira, a young woman from Cameroon who was among a Plan-supported delegation of girls at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women earlier this year.
“Girls are being neglected, marginalised, and discriminated in families and society. Most of the girls are ignorant about their rights. The Day of the Girl will make girls feel respected, recognised and their contributions valued in society,” she said.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, a long standing supporter of Plan’s Day of the Girl campaign, said: “I think the International Day of the Girl Child would be a great day for the issues of the girl child to be brought to light for media institutions, for government institutions, and for educational institutions to take the time to think: Girls are the future of the world and we definitely need a day dedicated to their issues.”
Plan's Because I am Girl campaign launches globally on 11 October 2012 - the first ever international Day of the Girl.
Watch campaigners explaining why the Day of the Girl is important to them: