The United Nations today celebrates girls across the globe, and has reiterated its commitment to defending their rights and providing them opportunities to excel.
The world body stated this via its website on this year’s commemoration of the International Day of the Girl-Child.
It in fact stated the obvious by saying that girls still face educational and mental challenges among other setbacks in contemporary times.
As such, the International Day of the Girl-Child, which the world observes annually on October 11, is a day set aside to empower girls and amplify their voices.
Like its adult version, the International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, the International Day of the Girl-Child acknowledges the importance, power, and potential of adolescent girls by encouraging the opening up of more opportunities for them.
The day is also designated to eliminate gender-based challenges that girls face around the world, including child marriage, poor learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination.
The theme of this year’s celebration is “Our time is now—our rights, our future”.
Recounting how the Day has evolved since its first time, the UN statement said: “In 2022, we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG).
In these last 10 years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst governments, policy-makers and the general public, and more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard on the global stage.
“Yet, investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential; made worse by concurrent crises of climate change, COVID-19 and humanitarian conflict.
“Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, and the protections needed for a life without violence.”
Another challenge which the UN has alluded to is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has worsened existing burdens on girls around the world, wearing away important gains made over the last decade.
But, with adversity comes resourcefulness, creativity, tenacity, and resilience.
The world’s 600 million adolescent girls have shown time and time again that, given the skills and the opportunities, they can be the change-makers driving progress in their communities, making great waves for all, including women, boys and men.
By all accounts, the girl-child has shown herself as ready for a decade of acceleration forward. It is time, in that case, for all of humanity to stand accountable – with and for girls – and to invest in the future that believes in their agency (UNICEF), leadership and potential.
Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tony Okerafor