With an option to put a frame around your profile picture, Facebook today is celebrating International day of the girl child. UN first picked the 11thOctober date to observe the day of young women and girls in 2012. This was done by Rona Ambrose – minister for the Status of Women, Canada. The move was made to spread awareness about gender inequality young girls are subjected to, especially in the areas of education and health.
However, the seed of the idea of observing 11th October as the ‘UN International Day of the Girl’ was sown by Plan International, a child rights organisation based in over 70 countries across the world. The organisation started a ‘Because I am a girl’ campaign which attracted ample support from people around the world. The campaign was aimed at raising awareness about the importance of nurturing girls.
The theme for this year’s ‘International Day of the Girl’ is Girls’ Progress=Goals’ progress: What counts for Girls. The theme focuses on the importance of data to understand the problems girls face and for the regulation of policies. According to UN, there is a ‘lack of systematic analysis’ and ‘limited use of existing data’ which majorly affects the organisation to monitor the situation of women around the world.
“There is no country in the world where girls experience true gender equality. The takeover is a great statement of girls’ power and their ability to change the world. It also serves as a reminder to governments how millions of girls are held back and denied an equal chance in life just because they are girls,” said Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of Plan International.
“This year’s International Day of the Girl is about making girls more visible than they’ve ever been before, putting them in places and spaces where they’re rarely seen or heard. In many countries around the world, girls are practically invisible. If they drop out of school before they turn 15, no one knows the reasons why. It could be because they are forced into child marriage, because they become pregnant, or because they have to start working to help support their families. There are many different possible reasons, but at the moment there is no data collected on girls this young, so no one knows what issues they face and they are overlooked by the authorities and others in positions of power who have the potential to help make their lives better.
“If we are to achieve true gender equality by 2030 – one of the Global Goals set out by governments around the world last year – then we need to start making girls count. They face unique struggles that boys just don’t come up against, so the takeovers that are part of International Day of the Girl this year are being used to highlight all the amazing things that girls can achieve if they are given equal opportunities and are treated equally to boys.”- Kirsty Cameron, Global Press Officer at Plan International told FE online.
With more than 195 million Facebook users, India ranking 127th on the gender inequality and 108th on the global gender gap index is sure to gain from the one-day-profile-picture feature of Facebook today.