(Disponible en français La Journée internationale de la fille)
On 11 October 2014, Canada and the international community will be celebrating the third annual International Day of the Girl Child. The occasion serves to recognize the rights of girls and highlight the unique challenges they face daily.
Canada Led the Call
In March 2011, the Minister for the Status of Women received the unanimous consent of the House of Commons to table a motion to have “Canada lead in the effort to propose a United Nations Resolution that would proclaim…an International Day of the Girl.” The motion received all-party support and was adopted.
The plan for an International Day of the Girl was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada in the United Nations General Assembly on 11 October 2011. Two months later, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October 2012 the first International Day of the Girl Child. Worldwide celebrations mark the annual event.
Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence
UNICEF, the United Nations lead agency for the Day, selected this year’s theme: Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence. This theme highlights the exposure of adolescent girls to violence, harassment and abuse, and examines how this exposure compromises girls’ safe and healthy transition from childhood to adulthood.
A 2009 UNICEF report on the International Girl Child Conference, A Study on Violence against Girls, acknowledges that girls globally face many different forms of violence: domestic violence, early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation and honour-related violence. The report also highlights the emerging and evolving world of Internet-based violence, in which new technology provides another forum where girls can be exposed to violence.
- Status of Women Canada, End Violence Against Women and Girls.
- Maire Sinha, “Measuring violence against women: Statistical Trends,” Statistics Canada: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, 25 February 2013.
- UNICEF, Hidden in Plain Sight: A statistical analysis of violence against children, September 2014.
- UNICEF, Ending Violence against Children: Six Strategies for Action, September 2014.
Author: Laura Munn-Rivard, Library of Parliament