Oc­to­ber 11: In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl Child

Tehran Times - - LIFE & SOCIETY -

Since 2012, 11 Oc­to­ber has been marked as the In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl. The day aims to high­light and ad­dress the needs and chal­lenges girls face, while pro­mot­ing girls’ em­pow­er­ment and the ful­fill­ment of their hu­man rights.

Em­power Girls: Be­fore, dur­ing and after crises

The world’s 1.1 bil­lion girls are a source of power, en­ergy, and cre­ativ­ity – and the mil­lions of girls in emer­gen­cies are no ex­cep­tion. This year’s In­ter­na­tional Day of the Girl (IDG) on Oc­to­ber 11 marks the be­gin­ning of a year-long ef­fort to spur global at­ten­tion and ac­tion to the chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties girls face be­fore, dur­ing, and after crises.

Ado­les­cent girls have the right to a safe, ed­u­cated, and healthy life, not only dur­ing these crit­i­cal for­ma­tive years, but also as they ma­ture into women. If ef­fec­tively sup­ported dur­ing the ado­les­cent years, girls have the po­ten­tial to change the world – both as the em­pow­ered girls of to­day and as to­mor­row’s work­ers, moth­ers, en­trepreneurs, men­tors, house­hold heads, and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers. An in­vest­ment in re­al­iz­ing the power of ado­les­cent girls up­holds their rights to­day and prom­ises a more eq­ui­table and pros­per­ous fu­ture, one in which half of hu­man­ity is an equal part­ner in solv­ing the prob­lems of cli­mate change, po­lit­i­cal con­flict, eco­nomic growth, dis­ease preven­tion, and global sus­tain­abil­ity.

Over the last 15 years, the global com­mu­nity has made sig­nif­i­cant progress in im­prov­ing the lives of girls dur­ing early child­hood. In 2015, girls in the first decade of life are more likely to en­rol in pri­mary school, re­ceive key vac­ci­na­tions, and are less likely to suf­fer from health and nu­tri­tion prob­lems than were pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. How­ever, there has been in­suf­fi­cient in­vest­ment in ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges girls face when they en­ter the sec­ond decade of their lives. This in­cludes ob­tain­ing qual­ity sec­ondary and higher ed­u­ca­tion, avoid­ing child mar­riage, re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion and ser­vices re­lated to pu­berty and re­pro­duc­tive health, and pro­tect­ing them­selves against un­wanted preg­nancy, sex­u­ally trans­mit­ted dis­ease and gen­der-based vi­o­lence.

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