In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170, declaring October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
It’s a day to emphasize, examine, and enact action to advance equal rights and opportunities for girls worldwide.
UNICEF, the IDGC lead agency, recognizes the human rights of equality and non-discrimination as fundamental in the consideration of gender equality. Gender-based discrimination is one of the most ubiquitous forms of discrimination that children face.
The inaugural IDGC in 2012 focused on ending child marriage, and the 2013 theme was “Innovating for Girls’ Education.” The 2014 theme will be “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”.
Today, girls still face discrimination in many parts of the world simply because of their gender. Challenges include fundamental issues such as barriers to education and opportunities to make a living, early and forced marriage, and poverty.
It is important to engage boys and men along the path towards more gender-equal societies. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women are the main underpinnings of UNICEF’s mandate and mission.
Why focus on adolescence?
“Adolescence is a critical period that can determine the trajectory of girls’ lives. It is a stage at which key investments and support can set girls on a path towards empowerment, or when discrimination, recurrent constraints, harmful practices, and violence can send them down a negative spiral with lifelong consequences, not just for themselves, but for societies and future generations.
When adolescent girls are empowered, it benefits all. Empowered girls grow into empowered women who can care better for themselves and their families, increase their earning potential, serve as active and equal citizens and change agents, and spur economic growth for communities and nations.” 
Empowering adolescent girls through education, skills, and training as well as social support, and encouraging active participation at this developmental stage can help end the cycle of violence before it persists, or even before it begins.
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.
The UN has called upon global actors (governments, UN agencies, civil society, and public and private institutions) to reassert their commitment to end the violence against adolescent girls, and to promote their empowerment by:
- Investing in adolescent girls to equip them with skills, confidence, and life options
- Making infrastructure, services, and technology accessible to girls and effective in meeting their needs for safety, connectivity and agency
- Facilitating 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
Read more at: http://dayofthegirl.org/