News and Events: Press releases

UN declares October 11th as “International Day of the Girl Child”

NEW YORK, 20th December 2011 - The United Nations General Assembly on Monday voted to designate 11 October  as the ‘International Day of the Girl Child’ following a two-year campaign spearheaded by Plan International with the support of the Canadian government and supported by a coalition of partners.

The day will promote girls’ human rights, highlight gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys and address the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the globe.

Speaking on the announcement, the UNGEI Secretariat Head Cheryl Gregory Faye said “This day acknowledges that despite progress achieved, discrimination and violence against girls and violations of their human rights still persist. We must continue to raise awareness of the challenges that millions of girls face every day simply trying to claim their right to an education and other rights.”

“With three years remaining, the costs of the failure to meet the Millennium Development Goal targets are high and will most likely be disproportionately borne by the world’s most vulnerable and poorest girls,” Faye continued. “Only through girls’ full and equal participation in all areas of life, starting with a quality education, can we hope to achieve gender equality and fundamental freedoms”.

Research has shown us that an extra year of schooling increase a girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent, ensures they marry later and have fewer, healthier children, who themselves get educated.

About UNGEI:
The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) is a partnership of organizations committed to narrowing the gender gap in primary and secondary education. It also seeks to ensure that, by 2015, all children complete primary schooling, with girls and boys having equal access to free, quality education. UNGEI was launched in 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, by then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in response to a troubling reality: Of the millions of children worldwide who were not in school, more than half were girls – a reality that continues today. To read more about UNGEI, visit:


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