On the 19th of December 2011, the United Nations declared the 11th of October each year to be International Day of the Girl Child. A day dedicated to recognising girls’ rights and the challenges they face every day around the world.
The theme of the 2013 commemoration according to the UN, “Innovating for Girls’ Education”, has been chosen to draw attention to the obligation and moral imperative to fulfil a girls’ right to education. Reports show that although progress has been made to encourage and ensure girls are receiving education, there is still a significant number who are being deprived of this basic right, particularly in India where discrimination against girls and women remains a deeply disturbing reality.
So, we ask the question, ‘Is it more important for a girl to reach her full potential? Or be pushed into an early marriage, stunting her emotional and mental growth?’
Babatunde Osotimehin, M.D, Executive Director, UNFPA, has said: “A girl who is married as a child is one whose potential will not be fulfilled. Since many parents and communities also want the very best for their daughters, we must work together and end child marriage.”
We feel that education is perhaps the best way for these marginalised girls to prosper in their future. Indeed, research shows that girls who stay in education for seven years or more marry 4 years later and have 2 fewer children.
It’s for this reason that you’ll find so many projects on LetzChange dedicated to educating the Girl Child. From giving the gift of education to a disadvantaged girl to sponsoring a tribal girl to enter mainstream education, there are many ways for you to make a stand and get involved to help improve the lives of individuals, families and society as a whole. As the research complied by USAID in this infographic shows, “A woman multiplies the impact of an investment made in her future by extending benefits to the world around her, creating a better life for her family and building a strong community”.
This International Day of the Girl Child, why not take a look through the numerous NGO projects on LetzChange dedicated to educating girls and let’s see if together we can provoke a seismic cultural change towards this serious subject.