October 11 was declared as International Day of The Girl Child in 2012 by the United Nations and has since been observed by people around the world.
The International Day of The Girl Child is a day set aside to highlight the successes of the girl child in a family. On this day, it is also an opportunity for global institutions to address the needs and challenges that girls living in developing and undeveloped countries face on a day to day basis while promoting girls empowerment and the protection of their rights.
You might be wondering “why is there a special day set aside to celebrate the girl child?” Hence, I list some reasoning behind the need to have a day devoted to the girl child:
- School-aged Girls Are Not in School: there are millions of girls around the world who are not in school as of today’s date. Lack of funding, poverty and gender discrimination play a major role in this;
- Forced Child Marriage: Every day nine out of ten girls are forced into marriage. is rooted in gender inequality, harmful traditions, poverty, religious beliefs and sometimes insecurity;
- Child Labor: Girls in most third-world countries become breadwinners for their family from an early age, which result to them not experiencing a healthy childhood;
- Child Pregnancy: result from forced early marriage, sexual abuse, and lack of proper Health Care or sexual education;
- They are Girls: around the world there are legal, religious and traditional practices that discriminate against girls having access to basic needs because of their gender.
In a country like Norway, we girls are privileged not to face these difficulties. However, let us remember that there are millions of girls outside of Norway who would do anything to live with the privileges we have as Norwegians. Do not take it for granted.
Below is a documentary, Unprotected, that shines light on one of the many challenges girls in West Africa, Liberia, has to live through while under the care of a Charity Organization (More Than Me), that has ''zero tolerance policy'' for sexual violence and exploitation.
This just proves how ungraded a girl child is.