Thursday, 11 October 2012

International Day of the Girl

Apparently today is the United Nations International Day of the Girl. It's purpose is to highlight, celebrate, discuss, and advance girls lives and opportunities across the globe and "to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”

The cowardly shooting of 14 year-old Malala Yousafzai by Taliban gunmen only two days ago highlights the plight of many girls around the world who cannot go to school and are abused by men who seek to control and dominate them.

By 2015, women are expected to make up 64% of adults in the world who are unable to read.

Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. In America the dropout rate is worse for boys but one in four girls does not finish high school and the dropout rate is even higher for minorities. I wonder what the situation is in the UK.

One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15. In the US more than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18.

The reporting on the case of Jimmy Savile shows us that there is still room for improvement in the way women and girls are treated here in the UK.

One in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. Worldwide children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.

More than half (54%) of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight. More than half (57%) of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.

Find out more by visiting the website.

Watch out this evening for the London Eye turning pink, around 10 pm I think, to mark the occasion.


  1. However bleak the summary above makes it seem, I'm glad I have daughters (and v fortunate we were born into a country where education is free and universal). What always worries me about these crimes is that men may often be the perpetrators, but women as mothers play a large part in these crimes. I'm particularly thinking of education choices, female circumcision and far too early marriage. Nicola

  2. Female circumcision is a cultural thing and about belonging. Perhaps parents are afraid of being shunned if they don't conform or perhaps they think their daughters won't be marriageable if they are not circumcised, but yes, if enough mothers in a community get together and say, 'we won't let our daughters be circumcised', the practise might come to an end. Often poor people feel they can't afford to send their daughters to school and sometimes they think it is not safe for them to leave the home. The more work done to make it safe and to show parents all the benefits education will bring their family as well as their daughters, the better.


All relevant comments to this post are welcome, so feel free to have your say.