10 Years of International Day of the Girl

20 October 2022

11 October 2022 marked the 10th anniversary of the International of the Girl. For this special occasion, and in partnership with over 35 organisations, the Plan International UN Team convened a 24-Hour Virtual Forum to commemorate the advancement of the rights of girls in all their diversity. The Forum was a unique opportunity to centre the voices of girls and young women as we confronted the challenges still to be addressed. 

A look at a decade of achievements

On 19 December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. From this day forward, International Day of the Girl (IDG) has been a catalyst for change. 

Launched on the 10th anniversary of the IDG, our “Realising every girl’s right to flourish” report illustrates the ways in which girls’ lives and prospects have changed. The report shows that, compared to previous generations, many more girls survive, develop to fulfil their potential, are safer from certain forms of abuse, and are actively leading advocacy and accountability initiatives to shape a better world for themselves and future generations. 

All these changes bear witness to the continuous efforts and unwavering dedication of the organisations – including girl- and youth-led organisations – that have been advocating actively to advance the rights of girls over the years. It was thus only fitting that this year’s 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl be a shared celebration, a space where the international community could come together to honour the road travelled. 

Photo of Margaret, youth advocate from Uganda
Margaret, age 24 from Uganda is a She Leads youth advocate and shared with us her vision for girls in 10 years: “I am looking at a world where gender equality, diversity and inclusion will be the language of girls and young women”

On 11 October 2022, Plan International’s UN Team convened a unique 24-Hour Virtual Forum, bringing together over 35 partners – including girl- & youth-led organisations, civil society, UN agencies and Member States. Because much like girls themselves, the obstacles to their rights are diverse, so the Forum explored a variety of themes through a series of 22 events. 

Girls and young women lead the way forward

Although our research shows that there have been significant improvements in realising girls’ rights, there are still many challenges to be addressed. Many girls, especially those with multiple and intersecting vulnerabilities have been left behind. Many of the rights of children from the LGBQTI community, girls with disabilities, migrant girls, and girls living in poverty and rural areas remain unrealised. 

For this reason, as we came together to celebrate, it was also important to take a moment to take stock of what we still have left to achieve. And who better to lead the way than girls and young women themselves? 

Although our research shows that there have been significant improvements in realising girls’ rights, there are still many challenges to be addressed. Many girls, especially those with multiple and intersecting vulnerabilities have been left behind. Many of the rights of children from the LGBQTI community, girls with disabilities, migrant girls, and girls living in poverty and rural areas remain unrealised. 

For this reason, as we came together to celebrate, it was also important to take a moment to take stock of what we still have left to achieve. And who better to lead the way than girls and young women themselves? 

Photo of Miriam, youth advocate from Lebanon
Miriam is a youth advocate from Lebanon. During one event, she said “Everyday is a day to speak up about the issues that stop us girls from attaining a proper life. ”

With many events either co-created with girls and young women or led entirely by them, and the majority of the events including girls and young women as panellists, the Forum gave a space to girls and young women to lead the discussions and share with decision-makers their key messages for change. 

In addition to the girls and young women speaking as panellists during the sessions, children, young people and adults from over 130 countries came to join us online throughout the day to learn about girls’ rights and share their questions and experiences with speakers. During workshops or Q&A sessions, participants had the opportunity to contribute to the discussions and help us concentrate on the right questions. 

To ensure meaningful and productive conversations, accessibility and inclusiveness were key priorities both for Plan International and for partners. In this respect, many events had interpretations in English, French, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic and Portuguese, as well as American Sign Language and CART interpretation.

Every day is Day of the Girl

For all those who weren’t able to celebrate with us on 11 October, or simply wish to go back to a certain discussion you can find all the recordings of the events with a brief description of each event our dedicated website, including 3 events organized by Plan International: 

“IDG: 10 Years On”: a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl which looks at “where have we come from and where are we going?” for girls’ rights.
“Girls’ Political Power: A dialogue Between Young Activists and Girl-child Champions”: this event, organized by the Campaigns Team at Global Hub, was the launch of the new #GirlsGetEqual campaign and the latest State of the World’s Girls report.
“How to Make Decision-makers Take Action: How to Write, Deliver and Gain the Confidence to Give a Powerful Advocacy Statement”: a She Leads Youth Workshop BY youth advocates, FOR youth advocates.

You also find the speakers’ profiles on this page.

Finally, check out our IDG Twitter moment to see what was buzzing on Twitter around the International Day of the Girl and the 24-Hour Virtual Forum. 

Youth empowerment, Activism, girls’ leadership

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