Celebrate International Day of the Girl Child

October 11th is officially International Day of the Girl Child. Whilst that has day has come and gone already we thought it is still important to say something about a day which was devised to recognize the rights of girls all over the world and the unique challenges they face.

Malala Yousafzai has been inspiring everyone following her shooting in Pakistan by the Taliban for simply advocating that girls have equal access to education. Luckily Malala survived the attack and recovered and since then has toured the world giving a speech at the UN Youth Assembly earlier in the year.

This year we are celebrating the only the second International Day of the Girl Child and in honour of Malala, the focus is on innovating for girl’s education. Whilst there has been plenty of improvement over the past twenty years in girls access to education, many girls continue to be deprived of the right.

It is estimated that approximately 57 million children who are primary aged are not in school with 34 million adolescent girls who have no access to education as a result of dropping out. There are many barriers to girls education such as early pregnancy, child marriage and the expectation girls will work as domestic labour supporting family incomes.

Many girls are excluded from receiving education because the culture they live in does not see value in their studies. Many schools lack female toilets and sanitary facilities in general which acts as a barrier to attending schools particularly when girls reach the age of puberty.

The International Day of the Girl Child this year will make use of new and creative innovations that will increase the access girls and young ladies have to education. New technology and innovation will be the focus coupled with community mobilsation and how to engage with girls themselves.

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