International Day of the Girl Child – October 11, 2017



Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights”
                           -United Nations Resolution 66/170

Did you know that October 11th was the International Day of the Girl Child?

Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss, and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere.  Does that sound like Soroptimist?

International Day of the Girl Child (Day of the Girl) is celebrated annually on October 11 to highlight issues concerning the gender inequality facing young girls. This year’s theme is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.”

There are nearly 600 million girls aged 10 to 19 in the world today, each with limitless individual potential, however they are disappearing from public awareness and the international development agenda. Between inequities in secondary education to protection issues, adolescent girls are uniquely impacted and should benefit from targeted investments and programs that address their distinct needs. Investing in adolescent girls can have a formidable ripple effect to create a better world by 2030. On this International Day of the Girl, join us in highlighting the unique challenges and potential of adolescent girls.

Day of the Girl-US is an 100% youth-led movement fighting for gender justice and youth rights. Our work to dismantle patriarchy and fight for social justice is rooted in girl-led activism across the country, using October 11th as a day of national action. We are outraged by the neglect and devaluation of female-identifying youth. We are committed to examining these issues within an intersectional framework, the inclusion of girls’ voices in the movement for social justice, and grassroots activism – and thus we advocate, educate, and organize. Day of the Girl-US is the United States arm of the global Day of the Girl movement, beginning in 2011.  It’s great to have such a day but in some respects sad that it took so long to have such a day, wouldn’t you agree?

October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement.

A worldwide revolution.

We want ourselves, and girls everywhere, to be seen as equals, in the eyes of others and in our own eyes.

These are their beliefs:

  • Girls are the experts on issues that affect girls. The solutions to these issues must come from girls. Their voices need to be centralized and elevated in social justice conversations.
  • Girls from marginalized communities must be central in conversations about social justice issues involving those communities.
  • Truly effective social change cannot come without girls’ leadership.
  • Girls’ issues are intersectional. We must intentionally include people who are different from ourselves in our social change work. Otherwise we will not be able to make a meaningful impact – in fact, we could even do damage to huge populations of girls.

How did it begin?

In early 2011, members of School Girls Unite, an organization of students and young female leaders advocating for the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, specifically gender equality, universal basic education, child marriage prevention, and other human rights issues, were sitting at a meeting, and someone brought up that countries around the world were beginning to organize to have an internationally recognized Day of the Girl. They began to search through the internet to see if anyone in the United States had begun organizing around this, but came up short. After discussing the idea, the young activists decided that our country was in need of a national day of action focused on girls’ rights and began to organize.

In December 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” You can read the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the International Day of the Girl Child for yourselves!

We continued organizing as the United States portion of this global movement. We began the Proclamation Project, where we had girls across the country prepare Day of the Girl proclamations and lobby their local government officials to pass them. Hundreds of counties across the country issued declarations after young activists utilized our Proclamation Project toolkit to aid them in their advocacy. In addition to encouraging girls across the country to proclaim the Day of the Girl in their communities, we worked hard to meet with members of the White House Coalition on Women and Girls and the U.S. State Department. It was this level of pressure that led to U.S. President Barack Obama proclaiming Day of the Girl in 2013 – a huge accomplishment that is credited to every young activist who took part in the Proclamation Project.   Source: 

This UN Day and event is so in concert with our mission to improve the lives of women and girls and in particular, our Dream It, Be It Career Support for girls in secondary schools.  Let’s remember October 11th…the Day of the Girl Child!

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