International Day of the Girl Child

Twenty five years ago, at the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, the beijing_declaration_and_platform_for_action.pdf was born, which detailed a plan of action for gender equality, championing the rights of women and girls; determined to recognise women’s rights as human rights.

The Platform for Action covers 12 critical areas of concern : poverty; education and training; health; violence; armed conflict; economy; power and decision-making; institutional mechanisms; human rights; media; environment; and the girl child.

Fast forward to 2020,  women’s rights and gender equality has not exactly reached the objectives of the Beijing Declaration, however the movements have expanded to include adolescent girls – from all walks of life – around the world – who are boldly demanding action and fighting against discrimination against violence, poor learning opportunities, lack of equal access to healthcare, sexual discrimination.

In the context of the girl child, the International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated annually on 11th October, is the perfect platform for girls to amplify their demands for action; and to stand up for their rights.  It is aimed to highlight and address their needs and challenges and promote girls empowerment. Especially in these current times in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, girl children are facing bigger challenges, particularly those in poorer countries.

This year, for the first time, Good Shepherd Religious, schools and mission partners in Asia Pacific are coming together to commemorate the Girl Child with a region-wide campaign. With the schools leading the way, starting their campaign on 1st October, Good Shepherd Asia Pacific will continue advocating for the rights of the Girl Child right up to Human Rights Day on 10th December.  As is the new norm, all activities will be virtual.

The highlight will be a panel event and official launch of the International Day of the Girl Child, on Sunday 11th October, 9.30am Malaysian time. Tune in live on youtube, details as below :

Particular emphasis will be given to awareness of online safety, no doubt brought about by the pandemic and the emergence of online learning and virtual classrooms. As many children are now spending more time online, it is imperative that children (and parents) are aware of safety rules whilst using digital platforms. More importantly, to bring awareness to online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) and its prevention. Lastly, introducing support systems and safe spaces for the girl child to express their opinions, joys, successes as well as challenges and violations to her human rights.

There is an amazing line-up of events, from Good Shepherd schools as well as social service organisations. Do follow us on social media for the latest happenings!