SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – MOSCOW, October 11 (RIA Novosti) – A United Nations resolution was established on October 11, 2011, marking it as the International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC), a day designated for promoting the rights of girls and addressing the unique challenges they face, primarily child marriage, violence and lack of access to education.
“Every year 150 million girls are affected by sexual violence, three times the population of the United Kingdom,” Plan International chief executive Nigel Chapman said in a keynote UNICEF speech recognizing the day.
“It’s a very, very important theme [violence], a theme that is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights at the moment,” he added.
Plan International is a charity that has worked closely with UNICEF in advocating for girl-child rights.
In addition, 14 million girls become child brides (40,000 daily), while violence in schools has also prevented girls access to education, according to Chapman.
“Globally, 65 million girls are out of school, with one in five adolescent girls around the world denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, discrimination and violence,” Plan International said in a statement on its website recognizing the day.
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is the lead agency of the day working in partnership with other United Nations agencies and civil society partners. The UNICEF sets an annual theme, this year being “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”.
Meanwhile, The Global Partners’ Working Group on School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) was set up ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child by the various organizations and government representatives with a subsequent event on October 8 in Paris.
The event was aimed towards “mobilizing policy makers and education actors for advocacy and action, bring together government, researchers and practitioners to highlight current realities, successes and challenges; and set in motion a campaign to put SRGBV on the international development agenda,” as stated in the groups official statement. An estimated 246 million children are affected every year by school-related violence.