On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
In recognition of the importance of investing in and empowering girls during adolescence and preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence they experience, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2014 is Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence.
To take efforts to end all forms of violence against girls and women to the next level, it is important that we focus on adolescent girls and move beyond awareness-raising to investments in and support for this critical group that will shape the present and the future. Building on the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign, we must look at the opportunities initiatives such as Education for All and the global movement to end child marriage provide to empower adolescent girls and must ensure that they are protected from harm, are supported by family and friends, and are able to act in their own interest. It is time to consolidate good practice and focus on actions and results, paving the way for a more gender-equitable post-2015 development agenda and review of progress against the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Governments, the UN system, civil society, and public and private institutions are called on to join forces and reaffirm their commitment to end the scourge of violence against adolescent girls and to promote their empowerment by:
- Investing in adolescent girls to equip them with skills, confidence, and life options: through family, schools, technical and vocational education and training, and health, social and economic support systems;
- Making infrastructure, services, and technology accessible to girls and effective in meeting their needs for safety, connectivity and mobility;
- Facilitating adolescent girls engagement in civic, economic and political life;
- Continuing to advocate for making violence against girls and women visible and unacceptable both in private and public domains;
- Strengthening data, measurement and the evidence base in relation to the empowerment of and violence against adolescent girls.