International Girls' Day: 1 in 4 girls deprived of school, action plan

Since 2012, International Day of the Girl Child has been held annually on October 11. His interest ? Highlight the difficulties and inequalities suffered by young girls and adolescents around the world. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event.

  International Day of the Girl Child: 1 in 4 girls go without'école, plan d'actions

[Updated September 23 at 4:40 p.m.] Every year across the globe, millions of young girls experience significant inequality and unsustainable abuse. Deprived of rights and freedom, their future prospects are at the mercy of the patriarchal, authoritarian and often poor societies in which they live. Still, 12 million girls are forced into marriage before they turn 18, that's almost 1 girl every 2 seconds . A phenomenon which would have been accentuated during the Covid-19 pandemic, as reported in a recent article by Vice . Another significant figure: 132 million girls aged 6 to 17 still do not have access to school . Realities that require a concrete action plan to change societies, through a dedicated international day.

What is the date of International Girls' Day?

Plan International , a non-governmental organization (NGO) working to advance children's rights and equality between girls and boys, crystallized its commitment through the creation of the International Day (of the rights) of the girl, fixed each year on October 11, and recognized in the wake of the UN . Created in 2012, this idea was born from an observation: girls in the world, and in particular in developing countries, are the first victims of inequalities, exclusion, discriminations and abuse. These violations of children's rights constitute many obstacles to their education and emancipation. He was therefore more than necessary to act to transform the lives of millions of girls who are victims of inequality and discrimination in the world in order to enable them to escape from poverty and become free women . All Member States of the United Nations, agencies attached to it, international organizations, civil society, are invited to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child and to raise awareness of the situation of girls everywhere in the world.

What is the theme for International Girls' Day in 2022?

Each year, a city is designated as the world capital for girls' rights , an honor received in particular by Paris in 2017, as well as a theme chosen by the United Nations. This year, on the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child, the theme of the event is 'Our time has come. Our rights, our future.' 'It's time for all of us to take responsibility - with and for girls - and invest in a future that believes in their agency, leadership and potential,' report the United Nations in their communicated .

What is the program of action for the International Day of the Girl?

Across the international day of the girl , it is a whole program of actions that is deployed with aims to promote girls' empowerment, invest in their education, uphold their human rights by raising public awareness of the inequalities and violence of which they are victims. In order to fight against gender inequalities, the NGO Plan International recalls the essential role of boys and men in this fight against discrimination against girls and women. Thus the NGO involves them in all its actions in favor of the rights and education of girls and invites them to join the global movement to obtain equality between girls and boys .

This year, for the 2022 edition, the NGO Plan international explains how we can get involved to trigger change:

  • “Share daily life stories, blogs and videos of girls making a difference” to inspire others;
  • 'Encourage government officials to make more targeted investments to address inequality';
  • “Engage influential women across all industries to reflect the change we want to show girls”;
  • 'Strengthen your commitment to raising awareness and tackling the factors that hold girls back.'

Figures on the condition of young girls

Yes, selon him report UNICEF, Plan International and UN Women, the condition of young girls in the world has improved considerably over the past 25 years, there are still many points on which improvements are possible and necessary, in particular on the education, sexual violence and access to health. Literacy , for example, a basic skill necessary for personal growth and active citizenship, has increased globally among young people, but a gender gap persists, to the detriment of girls. Adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 now represent 56% of the world's illiterate youth population, up from 61% in 1995.

1 in 20 girls aged 15-19, or about 13 million, have experienced forced sex in their lifetime , which is one of the most violent forms of sexual abuse of which women and girls can be victims. If practices such as child marriage and genital mutilation declined over the past 25 years, millions of girls around the world still experience far too many early marriages, genital mutilation and sexual abuse. Even today, girls struggle to get the health services and information they need to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections or unwanted pregnancies. And too few of them are getting the proper nutrition they need to live long and healthy lives.

How to help girls deprived of school?

According to last report of 2021 of the NGO Plan International France , today, no less than 132 million girls are still deprived of school in the world. And more generally, almost one in four girls aged 15-19 are not in education, employment or training, compared to 1 in 10 boys , according to a investigation from 2020. They are therefore more exposed to operating risks , of forced labor and D' sexual abuse . They constitute a 'cheap' labor for employers. Globally, 63 million girls between the ages of 5 and 17 are subject to child labor . The coronavirus pandemic has compounded the problem, and despite the reopening of schools, about 11 millions girls might never be educated again.

In an attempt to stop this terrible scourge, Plan International France has set up programmes d'intervention , such as the 'Child Labor' program in Tanzania, which fights against the work of girls in mines, a program to support girl soldiers in the Central African Republic, and the 'Avenir' program in Cameroon, in Yaoundé, in a neighborhood where more than half of girls (57.7%) aged 6 to 11 do not go to school.