The United Nations has officially declared October 11, 2012 as the world’s first International Day of the Girl Child.
The theme of this year’s IDG is ending ‘child’ marriage.
Over 30% of girls in developing countries are married before 18 years of age; around 14% are married before the age of 15. Early marriage is a risk factor for early pregnancy and poor reproductive health outcomes. Furthermore it perpetuates the cycle of under-education and poverty.³
Around the World ¹
- Around the globe, girls are three times more likely to be malnourished than boys.
- Of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls.
- Each year roughly two million girls between the ages of 5 and 15 are trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade.
- Girls are disproportionately affected by a number of harmful practices, including early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
- Girls continue to face obstacles in access to education and other basic services.
In Canada ²
- Young women from 15 to 19 experience nearly 10 times the rate of dating violence as young men.
- Nearly 70% of victims of internet intimidation are women or young girls.
- Girls and young women are nearly twice as likely as young men and boys to suffer certain mental health issues, such as depression.
- Issues of body image and self-esteem remain prevalent among girls.
We must empower our young girls with a healthy self-esteem and the right tools for a brighter future.
We must put a stop to the suffering of a ‘child’ marriage.
If you’ve read this far I highly suggest you read: Canada’s Honourary Youth Ambassador for International Day of the Girl 2012 – Ms. Alaina Podmorow. She began her quest for change when she was just nine years old. She is now fifteen years old and has won several awards in Canada for her continued support for young girls in Afghanistan. She’s an inspiration for young women everywhere.
Are you wondering what I’m going to do for International Day of the Girl?
- I will blog, tweet and FB about International Day of the Girl.
- I will go to my English tutoring session this afternoon and empower two young Italian minds to be the best they can be!
- I will spread the message to my three young nieces, who, I hope will spread the message along to their friends.
- I will hold this close to my heart until there is an end to ‘child’ marriage.
What will you do?