New international day to support girls’ rights

A new international day aims to raise awareness of girls’ rights to education around the world

The first ever international Day of the Girl will take place on 11 October 2012. A UN initiative, the day aims to promote girls’ rights, highlight gender inequalities and address discrimination towards girls throughout the world.

According to, only 30% of the world’s girls are enrolled in secondary education; one in seven girls in developing countries is married before the age of 15; and in the US, one high school girl in five has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.

Organisers are calling on people to help raise awareness of these issues with actions including hosting public events, writing to publications that present negative portrayals of girls, and calling on government officials to act on gender inequality.

International development organisation Plan has worked alongside the UN in creating the day, and to mark the occasion is launching a campaign called Because I am a Girl. The campaign aims to get a million people showing support for every girl’s right to an education.

Plan International CEO, Nigel Chapman, said: “We know that in many countries girls get left behind in all areas of life from school to work, and many are prevented from fulfilling their true potential by severe discrimination and prejudice. By designating October 11 as the Day of the Girl, we are all agreeing to put a special focus on the rights of girls throughout the world.”