Make 22 September International Day of the Girl
22 September 2011
A global campaign to make 22 September the International Day of the Girl gained momentum today as governments across the world were pressured to take the proposal to the United Nations General Assembly in October. Girl Guides in Canadawere instrumental in getting the Canadian government to recognize the day nationally and are encouraging other Member Organizations to take action in their own countries.
There are international days dedicated to left handers, mountains and civil aviation, but not one for girls. This despite the fact that girls are disproportionally neglected discriminated and affected by many issues of our times and often have their voices silenced and their issues ignored.
An International Day of the Girl will focus the world’s attention on the importance of girls’ rights. It will create a foundation for advocacy to ensure that girls get the investment and recognition they deserve as citizens and as powerful agents of change within their own families, communities and nations.
During Girls’ Week at European Parliament, Plan International, its other NGO partners, including WAGGGS, and UN agencies, called on MEPs to sign a petition to make 22 September International Girls’ Day. At the same roundtable on Gender Equality and Children, Plan launched its annual Because I am a Girl Report 2011 on the state of the world’s girls, this year asking: “So, what about boys?”.
How Girl Guides of Canada made 22 September Girls’ Day
In February 2011, Girl Guides of Canada-Guides du Canada launched the National Service Project 2011: EmPOWERing Girls. This nation-wide initiative recognizes the power that Canadian girls have to impact their communities and change the world around them, and encourages every Girl Guide Member to raise awareness and take real action on the issues that matter to her and those around her. As part of this project, Girl Guides of Canada partnered with PlanCanadaand endorsed the Because I am a Girl campaign. As a result, Girl Guide Units acrossCanadahave been learning about the campaign as a way to speak out and take action on issues of girl empowerment, including the effort to establish an International Day of the Girl.
In March 2011, Girl Guides of Canada was pleased to support PlanCanada’s call on the Canadian government to declare September 22nd as National Day of the Girl. As a result, Canadian Parliament passed a motion, supported by all political parties, declaring that Canada will lead the effort and propose a United Nations Resolution that will proclaim September 22 the International Day of the Girl. In September 2011, the Government of Canada will bring the call for Day of the Girl to the United Nations.
You can make a difference too
The Girl Child resolution, including the addition of designating 22 September as the International Day of the Girl, will be considered by the United Nations Third Committee in October 2011. If agreed, the full resolution will go back to the full General Assembly for a vote in December. You can convince your government to support this resolution.
Just download letter template here and send it your foreign ministry, and requesting that they vote in favour (or do not block) the issue when it is raised at the UN.