- (Photo: AP Images / Pat Roque)
The global community celebrates the first international Day of the Girl, which is dedicated to raising awareness regarding the daily struggles and gender rights violations that girls face in a daily basis.
Today more than ever, girls are subjected to violence and limited opportunities in regions around the globe. Whether the girls are prevented from attaining an education, trafficked for profit, or abused solely for being female, people from all backgrounds are coming together to put an end to these atrocities.
International Day of the Girl was first proposed as a resolution by Ronalee Ambrose, Canada's Minister of State for the Status of Women, during a United Nations General Assembly.
Showing support for the proposed measure, a delegation comprised of leading women and girls made separate presentations highlighting the desperate need for action during the 55th United Nations Commission.
The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to adopt the resolution on Dec. 19, 2011. The U.N. decided that October 11, 2012 would mark the inaugural International Day of the Girl.
The resolution stated that in order to amend these horrendous acts, investing in and empowering girls had to be a top priority. This included attaining all of the Millennium Development Goals starting with the main cause of female abuse, poverty.
To further their cause, the U.N. realized that more had to be done and set forth the following as a way to end female discrimination and abuse:
"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 … 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."
While much has been done to advance and empower girls all over the world, much more still needs to be done. While this may be only one day throughout the year dedicated to bringing better opportunities to girls, every day should be used to empower the women of the next generation.