Today marks International Day of the Girl 2021
Today marks the United Nations' International Day of the Girl. This year's theme is 'Digital Generation. Our Generation.' Charities and businesses across the world are calling for equal access to the internet and digital services for girls and targeted investments to facilitate opportunities for girls to safely and meaningfully access, use, lead and design technology.
A spokesperson for the UN said: "Digital inclusion and literacy open new avenues to learning, earning and leading for girls, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic has also deepened the gender divide around connectivity and online safety, with girls facing economic and social barriers to internet and device access."
Earlier this year, the Generation Equality Forum set technology and innovation as a priority in global conversations on gender equality. Leaders from civil society, governments, the private sector and youth movements made commitments to build more inclusive digital societies through providing equitable opportunities to girls, investing in feminist technology and putting girls and young women at the centre of designing and learning solutions for the digital world.
Cyber Magazine recently covered a cyber charity in Nigeria called CyberSafe which invests in girls from underserved communities and empowers them with cybersecurity skills. The project is the brainchild of Confidence Staveley who wanted to improve the socio-economic wellbeing of girls living in underserved communities in the country: “Investing in these girls and empowering them with globally sought-after cybersecurity skills will lift them and their families from poverty, contribute to combating cybercrime, address gender disparity, skills gaps in cybersecurity and fight youth unemployment/underemployment," Staveley told Cyber Magazine.
The White House
In a statement from the White House, us President Joe Biden said: "In the United States, girls contend with entrenched barriers to achieving gender equity. Despite Title IX protections, girls continue to lack equal opportunity and resources in education and leadership, and gender stereotypes continue to inhibit their participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, undermining their access to the stable and good-paying jobs.
"Our vision for the future is one where every girl can live free from violence, discrimination, and bias. We are committed to a future where girls can dream boldly and lead ambitiously as heads of families, communities, corporations, and governments; where their voices are not only heard, but amplified; and where they can lead the charge against 21st century challenges, drive innovation, and compete and succeed in the workforce of the future."
The history of International Day of the Girl
International Day of the Girl is an annual and internationally recognised observance on October 11 that empowers girls and amplifies their voices. Like its adult version, International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, International Day of the Girl acknowledges the importance, power, and potential of adolescent girls by encouraging the opening up of more opportunities for them. At the same time, this day is designated to eliminate gender-based challenges that little girls face around the world, including child marriages, poor learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination.
Calling out for the rights of women and girls was first achieved by the Beijing Declaration in 1995 at the World Conference on Women in Beijing. In the history of the world, it was the first-ever blueprint to have identified the need for addressing issues faced by adolescent girls all around the world.
International Day of the Girl began as part of the international, non-governmental organisation Plan International’s campaign “Because I am a Girl.” The campaign was designed to nurture girls, especially in developing countries, promote their rights, and bring them out of poverty. International Day of the Girl Child was born as an idea during the campaign and grew into practice when its representatives requested the Canadian federal government to seek a coalition of supporters. Eventually, the United Nations became involved.
It was then formally proposed by Canada to be passed as a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly. Consequently, on December 19, 2011, the UN General Assembly successfully adopted the resolution of recognising October 11, 2012, as the inaugural day of International Day of the Girl.