On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. The International Day of the Girl Child is annually held on October 11th to celebrate the contribution of girls in the world, discuss the importance of girls’ right to equal education and their fundamental freedoms, promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities in the world.
Over the last 15 years, the global community has made significant progress in improving the lives of girls during early childhood. In 2015, girls in the first decade of life are more likely to enrol in primary school, receive key vaccinations, and are less likely to suffer from health and nutrition problems than were previous generations. Today, girls still face discrimination in many parts of the world simply because they are girls. They face unique challenges such as barriers to education and opportunities to make a living, early and forced marriage, and poverty. And yet, we know investing in girls is key to creating a brighter, safer future for everyone. When girls are educated, healthy and informed, they lift themselves, their children and their entire communities out of poverty.
As teachers we can seize the opportunity to arouse our students’ interest in this delicate matter and at the same time use the material on the internet to create interesting, memorable lessons about social issues like education, health, safety, human rights. There are many ways students can discuss this matter as part of the effort to help bring attention to the many dangers girls face around the world including gender discriminations. Having a look at the Girl Effect website they’ll find numerous starting points for discussion and cooperative group work:
Girls around the world are defying odds to break down barriers and advance the fight for education, access to health care, and economic stability. On International Day of the Girl, we are celebrating some girls who have changed history and inspire us to keep trying for a better future every day. Anne Frank, Nujood Ali, Helen Keller are only some of them but the list would be long to continue.
Her courage has made her a hero. Her activism has earned her the Nobel Peace Prize. And her bravery has emboldened a generation to stand up for every girl’s right to go to school. The new film He Named Me Malala is an intimate portrait of the Malala Yousafzai, who, at age 15, was targeted and shot by extremists for speaking out on behalf of girls’ education.
International Day of the Girl is all about celebrating your GIRLHERO, and education activist, student and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai is our ultimate GIRLHERO.
After watching the film trailer with the help of the HNMM discussion guide to gain insight into the film, students can start a conversation with the class about the importance of improving girls’ access to education worldwide. Students can also download the Toolkit Inspired to do even more? to put up flyers, write articles for local paper and create artwork in honor of Malala and other girlheroes.
“There’s a moment when you have to decide whether to be silent or to stand up.“―Malala Yousafzai