Girl from Bolivia smiles broadly as she runs with arms widespread, beneath green trees and a rainbow

International Day of the Girl

How we celebrate and empower girls to have brighter futures

What is International Day of the Girl?

An annual initiative, launched in 2012 and taking place on the 11th October, The International Day of the Girl is a celebration marked by the United Nations to recognise and promote girls’ rights.

The UN created ‘International Day of the Girl’ to increase the awareness of gender inequality and the adversities girls face as a result of humanitarian crises and the cycle of poverty. While these issues exist all year round, this day marks the prevalence of these issues and provokes political conversations for action.

Among all the adversities young girls around the world face, they can live in the hope that one day their lives will change for the better. Whilst so many don’t have a voice, we do. Together, we can use our platform for action and transform the social wellbeing, and the futures, of these young girls.

Why was International Day of the Girl created?

There are 1.1 billion young girls worldwide, many of whom face challenges such as child marriage, child poverty, child labour, female genital mutilation and adolescent pregnancies – simply because they’re girls. These unnatural experiences remove their childhood innocence, forcing them to mature too quickly.

How Child Sponsorship will help

As a child sponsor, you can help fulfil our vision of ensuring every girl reaches her full God-given potential.

When you sponsor a girl, you help to break the cycles of discrimination, lack of education and child marriage. You give her the chance to enjoy opportunities she could once only dream of.

We urgently need child sponsors to transform girls' lives today. We need you.

Your sponsorship of one girl breaks the cycle of poverty in her life, and has a ripple effect. For every child sponsored, 4 more benefit too.

A life transformed

Esin*, 13, lives in Herat, Afghanistan. Her mother Shakib*, was married at 13 and pregnant at 14. She didn’t want Esin to have the same fate, but Esin’s father arranged for her to be sold as a bride for just under £6,500.

Shakib and Esin had been attending a World Vision organised Community Change Group where they learned about the physical and mental consequences of child marriage and child pregnancy, and that Esin had the right not to get married if she didn’t want to.

Girl in Afghanistan, wearing a headscarf looks at a painting of a woman
This Afghan girl (not Esin*, name omitted for privacy) was almost married at 11. Thankfully, her mother attended World Vision classes and decided that her daughter was too young to get married.
I'm so happy that I'm not going to get married. I am going to work even harder in school and be the top of my class. Someday I will support my family.

Esin (name changed), 13

Stopped from being married

Shakib asked her husband to stop the marriage but he refused; he was out of work with serious health issues and saw the marriage as a solution for their financial troubles. Esin and her mother turned to the community change group for help. The group joined community elders and spent nearly a month attempting to change Esin’s father’s mind.

With the support of the group facilitator, they convinced Esin’s father that child marriage is wrong. Now the marriage has been stopped, and Esin can continue her education. Like many, the family is still in a serious financial situation but Shakib has begun washing clothes and cleaning homes so her daughter can stay in school and remain free from the dangers of child marriage.

*Name changed to protect her identity

Why empowering girls is transformative

Through supporting and empowering girls, we can not only help to transform their lives, but the lives of children for generations to come.

International Day of the Girl over time

Each year a different theme is created to help create a focal point for the campaign.

International Day of the Girl themes include:

  • 2012 – ‘Ending Child Marriage’
  • 2013 – ‘Innovating for Girl’s Education’
  • 2014 – ‘Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence’
  • 2015 – ‘Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030’
  • 2016 – 'Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls'
  • 2017 – 'EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises'
  • 2018 – 'With Her: A Skilled Girl Force'
  • 2019 – 'Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow'
  • 2020 – 'My voice, our equal future'

You can use the hashtag #standwithher to help show support on social media, spread the message and give young girls a voice for change.

Throughout the year, you can sponsor a girl, helping to empower young women and providing them with a brighter future. Your support can be life changing.

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