International Day for The Girl Child

The International Day for the Girl Child is a special day to celebrate the rights and achievements of the girls around the world and to raise awareness on the challenges that the girl child still faces. Through a resolution by the United Nations on 19th December 2011, 11th October was declared as in the International Day for the Girl Child. This resolution emanated from the Beijing Platform for Action, which is the most progressive road map for advancing the rights of women and girls.
It is unfortunate that in the 21st century communities in our country and the world at large still commit untold atrocities against the girl child. Despite the consorted efforts by activists, leaders, NGOs and governments to champion for gender equality and women empowerment, the girl child is still forced into child labour, early marriages, genital mutilation, sexual exploitation, teenage pregnancies and lack of basic education. It is sad that in most cases, the moment a girl is born, she is already disadvantaged, simply because she is born a girl.
According to statistics by the United Nations Population Fund, over 640 million women were married off in their childhood, this translated to 8% of the world population. In addition to that, in developing countries, 1 in every 3 girls begin to bear children in their adolescent years.
Besides that, UNESCO reports that globally we have 122 million girls who are yet to receive any form of formal education. Even though there has been intensified efforts to champion for girls’ right, the statistics give a different story, and that is why we celebrate this day to create awareness and intensify efforts to champion for girls’ rights.
This year’s theme calls for us to Invest in Girl’s Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well- being. As an organization we must seek new ways to empower the girl child, so that she can eventually empower generations behind her. The United Nations are calling upon stake holders to; 

  • Centre girls in the protection and promotion of rights: - As stakeholders, we are called upon to involve girl child rights in our work in order to bring down all forms of gender inequalities within our system.
  • Recognize, celebrate & support girls’ leadership: - the UN is calling upon leaders to recognize and celebrate women’s leadership. As an organization we have been able to achieve this through the student leadership where we have 3 ladies and 4 gentlemen in the executive student council. On the other hand, on the administration side of the organization, we have ladies as HODs, CODs, Directors, Deans within the university.
  • Introduce and Scale-up multi-sectoral programmes that support the well-being of the girl child: - Under this objective, the UN suggests multi-sectoral programmes that will support the well-being of the girl child through avenues that provide channels to report and address gender- based violence instances, which as an organization, we have the Directorate of Research, Human rights and Gender office, Security Department and the Medical department. In addition to that, they request organizations to provide financial literacy programmes and counselling programmes for the girl child.

As an institution of higher learning, we can commit to educate the girls within and around us on their rights as espoused in our constitution and in the Beijing Platform for Action. As parents, guardians, leaders and community members we can provide a safe and conducive environment for the girl child to thrive and flourish. Let’s us invest in the girl child for the sake of generations to come.
Today we call upon each of you to Brave Her, Bold Her, Strengthen Her and Empower Her.

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