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International Day of the Girl

Author: Lean In

Date: September 24, 2017

Categories: Studies & Research


International Day of the Girl is celebrated on October 11. It is a day dedicated to championing girls’ rights around the world. This international day promotes equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse. Commemorative days, such as this one, provide an important opportunity to shine a light on specific issues, and have communities around the world join together for global action to make changes that will improve people’s lives. With this in mind, here are some facts from around the world and Canada:

Facts

Around the World

  • Complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading cause of death among 15 to 19 year-old girls globally. 1
  • More than 30% of girls in low- and middle-income countries marry before they are 18; around 14% before they are 15. 2
  • Globally, about one in seven adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) are currently married or in union. 3
  • As of 2012, there were 62 million girls of primary and secondary school age not in school. 4
  • One in five adolescent girls is out of school. 5
  • Over 100 million young women living in low and lower-middle income countries are unable to read a single sentence. 6
  • Girls with no education are three times as likely to marry by 18 as those with secondary education or higher. 7

In Canada

  • Sexual offences are eight times more likely to be committed against girls aged 12-17 than male youth. 8
  • For girls, depression typically stems from “low self-esteem, negative body image, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and stress.” 9
  • Young women from 15 to 24 experience nearly 6 times the rate of dating violence as young men. 10
  • Girls with higher mathematical ability are less likely to pursue STEM fields at university than boys with lower mathematical ability. 11
  • In 2012/2013, only 2.5% of girls aged 12 to 17 met the current physical activity guideline of at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily. 12

Day of the Girl gives us a powerful way to highlight the particular needs and rights of girls, and to advocate for greater action and investment to enable girls to reach their full potential.  That starts with education, support from the community and freedom from violence.

Equal opportunity for girls is good for all of us. Together, we can create these conditions for girls across the globe. We can show them that gender equality is, not just possible, but necessary. Our future depends on it.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

World Health Organization, Adolescent pregnancy

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Footnote 2

World Health Organization, Adolescent pregnancy

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Footnote 3

UNICEF, Child marriage

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Footnote 4

EFA Global Monitoring Report and UNESCO UIS, Progress in getting all children to school stalls but some countries show the way forward

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Footnote 5

EFA Global Monitoring Report and UNESCO UIS, Progress in getting all children to school stalls but some countries show the way forward

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Footnote 6

UNESCO, Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/4. Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All, 2014

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Footnote 7

UNFPA, Marrying Too Young End Child Marriage, 2012

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Footnote 8

eds. Sinha, Maire, Measuring violence against women: Statistical trends. Government of Canada (Statistics Canada), February 25, 2013.

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Footnote 9

Girls in Canada Today: National Opinion Poll & Report on the Status of Girls, Girls Action Foundation, March 8, 2011, p. 9

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Footnote 10

Statistics Canada

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Footnote 11

Statistics Canada. Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report (Seventh edition) Women and Education: Qualifications, Skills and Technology

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Footnote 12

Statistics Canada. Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report (Seventh Edition), The Health of Women and Girls in Canada

 

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