Copyright © Françoise Herrmann
Today is the International Day of the Girl Child, promulgated in 2011 by the United Nations. This year’s theme for celebrations is “The power of the adolescent girl: Visions for 2030”.
Indeed, 2015 is an important benchmark year as it marks both the deadline for measuring all that was accomplished since 2000 when the UN set the first series of Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), and the onset of a second set of Goals for Sustainable Development (GSDs) with a deadline in 2030.
Looking back on the past 15 years, progress is reported for Millenium Development Goal Number 3 designed to promote gender equality and to empower women. The girl child has more chances of attending elementary school, of being vaccinated and of receiving food. However, girls still lag behind in receiving an education at the secondary and university levels. They still do not receive enough information or means to manage their reproductive health, to avoid child marriages, or to protect themselves against sexual violence. (MDGs - Report, 2015)
Recognizing the pivotal role (beyond reproduction) that girls play in the economic development and well-being of nations, the Goals for Sustainable Development set forth in 2015, include girls in goal Number 5 – Gender equality, with such targets as:
- End all forms of discrimination against women and girls everywhere
- Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in private and public spheres
- Eliminate all harmful practices (including genital mutilation and forced marriages)
- Recognize the value of unpaid and domestic work with the provision of public services and social protection
- Ensure women’s full participation and opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making
- Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health
- Undertake reforms to ensure women’s right to economic resources, access and ownership of land
- Enhance the use of enabling technologies, and
- Adopt and strengthen policies that promote gender equality (UN- Goal 5 )
In 2030, the girl child of today will be an adolescent girl, and the UN recognizes this day her power to change the world, contingent upon the achievement of targets set forth this year for Sustainable Development Goal Number 5, in 2030.
As for the first set of Millenium Development Goals that the UN drafted 15 years ago, in 2000, nations will be able to monitor progress of the new Sustainable Development Goals set forth this year, during the course of the next 15 years, with an ever better fate for young girls.
Happy Girl Child Day to all gals big and small!
UN International Day of the Girl Child 2015
UN - Goal 5 Achieve gender equality and empower all girls and women
UN - Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
UN- Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)
Millenium Development goals Report 2015