International Day of Girl Child 2020 is very special. This year the theme of International Day of the Girl Child is “My voice, our equal future”. The theme focuses on how girls globally are leading the way. International Day of the Girl Child is a United Nations designated day, observed every year on October 11. This year, Day of the Girl Child is also significant as the ‘Generation Equality’ campaign has been launched. It is a “multi-year, multi-partner campaign and movement for bold action on gender equality”. International Day of Girl Child 2020 marks 25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for working towards empowering girls and their rights globally. The Beijing Declaration is one of the first “most comprehensive international agreements on women’s rights and gender equality”. In a pandemic year, a clear agenda and multi pronged approach is essential to look after the needs and opportunities of adolescent girls. Twitter is already abuzz with beautiful pictures and messages ahead of International Day of Girl Child tomorrow.
— Twitter Women (@TwitterWomen) October 9, 2020
Ahead of the International Day of Girl Child we look at the faces of girl power around the world who are driving the change. The teenagers leading movements – be it climate change, gender equality or racial issues. They are telling the world that voices of girls and their dreams, even in the remote corners of the world can no longer be ignored.
International Day of Girl Child 2020: Five faces of girl power
Neha, a teenager in neighbouring Nepal, is a girls’ rights and gender equality activist. She grew up in a slum in Kathmandu. She is focused on tackling trafficking and gender-based violence. Neha is now a Plan International Global Young Influencer. She is a leader in the Mahila Ekta Samaj Girls Network of Nepal, which works with major slums of in Kathmandu. She is also a presenter on Nepal’s radio programme #CoolKids.com. Ahead of International Day of the Girl Child, Neha joined UN Women and Plan International for “a conversation on digital youth activism.”
Samaira Mehta, 11, is already the founder and CEO Coderbunnyz and Codermindz. These are two board games that introduce children to computer programming concepts. Samaira is also the creator of the “Yes, One Billion Kids Can Code” initiative. The target of the programme is to enable children gain access to STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and coding tools by 2030. Samaira “added her voice to UN Women’s Generation Equality campaign this year.”
Who does not know Greta Thunberg. The 16-year-old became a household name and the face of a global movement for climate change in 2019. Greta started her movement by skipping classes and camping in front of the Swedish Parliament. She and others like her demanded action to protect the planet from global warming. In 2019, Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic on an emissions-free boat to attend the UN Climate Summit in New York. A fearless activist, she is known to take on world leaders for not keeping their climate action commitments.
International Day of the Girl Child Image: Greta Thunberg became the face of a global climate change movement
Julieta Martinez, 17, is a climate and gender equity activist. The teenager from Chile founded an organization to empower and educate girls and encourages young people to interact and work in their communities. Her ‘Tremendas Collaborative Platform’ works on issues including environment, inclusion, gender, health and welfare and education. Julieta is also a member of UN Women’s Generation Equality Youth Task Force.
Latifatou Compaor, 14, is a feisty activist from Burkina Faso. Her mother was forced to undergo Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Latifatou’s mother had promised never to allow FGM on her daughter. Latifatou campaigns to end FGM. Being a good singer, she uses her talent to spread awareness about the dangerous practice of FGM. UNFPA recognised Latifatou’s work to end FGM.