International Day of the Girl 2014

Theme: Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence

Research has shown that simply being born a girl can leave a child at a huge disadvantage in life. In the poorest societies a girl faces greater risk of malnutrition, hunger and disease compared to her brothers. She will have fewer opportunities for an education and career. In many developing countries 1 out of 7 girls marries before age 15. In developed countries girls are faced with another set of challenges.

It is in order to highlight the experience of girls the UN General Assembly voted to declare 11 October every year International Day of the Girl Child. The resolution passed by the General Assembly states that the Day of the Girl recognizes: “[the] empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community [...]”.

As the lead agency for the Day, UNICEF, in consultation with other United Nations agencies and civil society partners, selected as this year’s theme, Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence, in recognition of the importance of investing in and empowering adolescent girls and of preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence adolescent girls’ experience.

IBVM schools and non-formal education centers around the world work tirelessly for and with some 60,000 girls. Since 2012 many center have celebrated the Day of the Girl as an empowering and awareness raising opportunity for our girls and boys in our co-ed schools. If you are planning an event this year, do let me know at the UN NGO Office and send some photos.

The following links contain information from the United Nations on the 2014 Day of the Girl in English, Spanish, French and Arabic. Some key messages in English and Spanish can be found in the other links.

Key Messages

Thanks to all involved. Our girls are a precious and beautiful gift to be nurtured.
Cecilia O’Dwyer ibvm

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