October 11, 2022, marks the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the United Nations International Day of the Girl (IDG). IDG is much more than just a day – it’s a global movement that fights injustices.
Over the past ten years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls among governments, policymakers and civil society. The annual day focuses attention on the challenges girls face world-wide. In families, communities and societies, some progress has been achieved BUT there’s still more that needs to be accomplished to guarantee girls’ human rights and to raise their voices and needs on the global stage. The theme for 2022 is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”.
Let’s join together to play a role in making even more change for girls! Goals include the need for greater gender equality, empowerment, access to education, and economic opportunities. Discrimination, female genital mutilation, son preference, early forced marriage, trafficking, honor killings, sexual abuse, bullying, gender-based violence, and rape continue to be a part of girls’ lives. Gender non-conforming and transgirls, differently-abled girls, girls of color, and girls living on the margins must all be included in any progress.
Let’s mobilize as an organization, as affiliates, and as individuals to address problems, create awareness and make a difference.
• Publicize the day. Write letters to the editors of your local press.
• Check on girls’ access to digital technology in your communities, in local libraries and schools. Bridge gaps.
• Create safe spaces and workshops for girls to come together to share and validate their experiences, perspectives, decision making and contributions. To offer them support.
• Encourage school curriculums to include gender neutral content, confidence building, leadership and financial skills, and job trainings. Include educating teachers/adults.
• Check on the availability of menstruation products, ensure sanitary conditions and easy access to health care and accurate information.
• Involve local political leaders and ask them to declare October 11th as the International Day of the Girl.
• Ensure that funding for girls’ needs is equal to the dollars for boys and that advancement for boys doesn’t leave girls behind.
• Educate girls about issues and then ask them to speak to their school administrators and teachers to see if a discussion about them can be part their classes.
• Share examples of women who are leaders, role models, entrepreneurs, authors, and trailblazers.
• Shop at local women-owned businesses.
• Ensure the passage of legislation guaranteeing girls’ equal rights.
• Work together to form partnerships with other organizations. Involve many different
stakeholders. Men and boys must be included too.
Prepared by: Judy Mintz, ICJW’s representative to the Working Group for Girls at UN headquarters in NY