IRIAD -International Day of the Girl Child Statement

…. CELEBRATING EVERY GIRL-CHILD ACROSS THE WORLD

Today the Initiative for Research, Innovation, and Advocacy in Development (IRIAD) and The Electoral Hub join the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child.

On December 19, 2011, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world[1]. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Our Time is Now, Our Right Our Future”. The aim of this annually and internationally celebrated day is to empower girls in order for their voices to be heard; support and acknowledge the girl child’s importance and untapped potential by paving way for them. Celebrating this day internationally gives a platform to those underprivileged girls to raise their voices and demand equality of rights, education, and health, noting that girls’ rights to dignity, equity, and justice are universal.

October 11 is a day also set aside to abolish gender-based challenges in a girl child’s life around the world such as violence, unequal access to education, early marriages, physical and mental wellness, and discrimination which resonates with IRIAD/The Electoral Hub’s commitments to advocating and promoting gender equity and social inclusion in society.

As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the day, girls across the world are demanding “open, safe, inclusive, and sustainable pathways” to socio-political participation[2]. We believe that despite the limitations and challenges confronting the girl child, with unified efforts and deliberate actions, the girl child can be open to opportunities to fulfill her dreams and future.

In line with IRIAD’s commitment to advocating for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) and The Electoral Hub’s commitment to improving youth participation in governance, we urge all relevant stakeholders to include the girl child agenda in their programmes and initiatives as well as ensure open, safe, inclusive and sustainable pathways to their democratic political participation around the world. Our call for action towards greater attention and investment for the overall growth and development of the girl child includes:

  • Supporting adolescent girls by hearing their voices, responding to their socio-economic and socio-political asks, as well as nurturing spaces for their inclusion in decision-making.
  • Increasing resources for girls, and girls’ agendas, networks, initiatives, and programmes.
  • Providing quality and inclusive education that prioritizes girls’ well-being.
  • Improving access to inclusive adolescent girl-centered services, especially in crisis response and recovery.
  • Making schools safe for girls, and ensuring security for girls in schools against violence
  • Mobilizing communities’ support for girls’ survivors of Gender-based Violence.
  • Strengthening legislation and policy to support girls
  • Providing platforms for girls’ voices to be heard.

Finally, as we celebrate the International Day of The Girl Child, it is important to note that we have a responsibility to protect the life of every girl child around the world.

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