Today, October 11, is International Day of the Girl Child, an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the potential of girls to change our collective futures. But today is also an opportunity to acknowledge and reflect on the obstacles facing girls around the world, and what we can do to help them achieve their full potential.
Right now, more than a billion girls under 18 are poised to become the mightiest generation in human history. Among them are the change-makers, community-builders, and inspirational leaders of tomorrow.
But every day, around the globe, inequality threatens to derail girls’ potential to flourish and to transform our world. We can’t sit back and wait for equality to arrive, we have to act now — and that means raising a hand and speaking up and out against threats to the rights of women and girls.
Below are five fast facts for you to know and share this International Day of the Girl Child:
- FGM takes place on every continent except Antarctica and across all cultures, religions, and socio-economic groups.
- Girls account for 90% of children sexually abused online.
- Caste-based discrimination leaves many girls across India, more vulnerable to sexual violence
- All over the world, UNICEF estimates one-quarter of adolescent girls, aged 15 to 19, have experienced sexual violence
- Every minute, 23 girls are married before they’re 18 years old, and nearly 300,00 children have been married in the U.S. since 2000.
Raise your hand to demand a better future for girls
With the power of your support, we can challenge injustice; we can stand against sexual violence; we can protect and advance hard-won rights, and we can amplify the voices of survivors – so every girl can enjoy the safety, choice, and respect she deserves.