International Day of the Girl is observed globally each year on 11 October. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) works with girls to amplify their voices and stand up for their rights.
This year’s theme, “GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable”, celebrates the achievements by, with and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in 1995.
On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
Although progress has been made since the Beijing Declaration girls around the world, still need support to achieve their full potential.
25 years on since Beijing
South Africa participated in the 4th World Conference of Women in 1995, and signed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in the same year. However, progress complying has been slow even though government has integrated gender equality and women’s empowerment into its policies and programmes.
In November 2013 the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was passed.
Its preamble reads:
“AS the Republic’s constitutional and international commitments in the field of human rights include the promotion of gender equality and the prohibition of unfair discrimination against women and the elimination of gender based violence; AND as measures to address discrimination against women are essential to the transformation of gender relations in the Republic,”
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