11th October marks International Day of the Girl

Every year on October 11 we think about girl’s rights around the world – and in many cases, their lack of rights. International Day of the Girl is an initiative started by the UN to promote the rights of girls across the globe. On this day, they hope to make people more aware of life for girls around the world – as well as the many challenges they face.

What sort of challenges?

This includes everything from access to education and healthcare, being forced into child marriages, being scarred by sexual violence, and equal opportunities as children and young adults. Women in all countries continue to experience gender discrimination on a daily basis. One in three girls in developing countries, excluding China, is forced to marry before she turns 18 – that’s 47,700 girls every day.

Being made to marry as children not only leaves them vulnerable to physical violence, including sexual violence, but it also leaves them missing out on an education and a career. It puts an end to her right to make her own choices in life.

Some 33 million girls across the world aren’t allowed to go to school – for no reason other than their gender. One in five girls in developing countries who enrol in primary school never finish. Only 30% of girls globally are enrolled in secondary school.

Some 1.2 million children are trafficked every year. Many of them are forced into prostitution. 250 million young girls are currently stuck in poverty. Poor girls are two-and-a-half times more likely to marry in childhood than wealthy ones.