Every 11th day of October the United Nations joins hands with the rest of the world to celebrate The International Day of the Girl Child. This day was specifically mapped out with the aim to promote girls’ rights and draw attention to gender inequalities that exist between girls and boys.
Though this great initiative has been up and running since last year (it was launched in December 2011), many people are still oblivious of what it is and entails. The International Day of the Girl Child is an annual event that concerns everyone around the globe. This concerns us all because in one way or the other we are affiliated with girls. Even if you do not have a girl sister or relative or friend, you were born by a woman and that woman was once a girl child. This is a reason you should be part of today’s commemoration.
However, today’s honour to girls child offers us (everyone including public and private organizations) the opportunity to improve our consciousness on issues affecting our girls around the globe and move up public awareness of the diverse forms of discrimination and maltreatment that our girls around the globe are facing today. There are so many ways we can be involved in this campaign. It suffices to say that social media (which we are all part of) is one of such vital mechanisms we can employ. There are so many messages we can preach about. But it is of the essence that we talk about the importance of girls’ right to access to equal education, their inalienable rights to various forms of freedoms, including but not limited to freedom from oppression and injustice, freedom from child labour and abuse, freedom from any form of domestic ill-treatment.
Though there are various events that have been put in place by various bodies involved in this campaign to display the work that their organizations are doing to empower girls through various means, but we as individuals have roles to play in our different capacities. We can be supportive by attending those events, donating to genuine bodies that work in the areas of child rights promotion and protection, engage with parents and families in our neighbourhoods, and our communities at large.
The need for the voice of these vulnerable girls to be heard and their situations exposed hinges on the premise that discrimination and violence against girls increase everyday in our society and violations of their human rights keep skyrocketing. We need to act against these untoward treatments against our girls because we are all affected somehow!