First declared on October 11th, 2012 -- it is to raise awareness of issues facing girls internationally including education, nutrition, child marriage, legal and medical rights. More on this from Wikipedia here
Here in Canada, here are some facts about today (Courtesy of Status of Woman Canada):
* Sexual offences are eight times more likely to be committed against girls aged 12-17 than male youth.
* For girls, depression typically stems from “low self-esteem, negative body image, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and stress.”
* Young women from 15 to 24 experience nearly 6 times the rate of dating violence as young men.
* Girls with higher mathematical ability are less likely to pursue STEM fields at university than boys with lower mathematical ability.
* In 2012/2013, only 2.5% of girls aged 12 to 17 met the current physical activity guideline of at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily
Why is today important? According to Status of Woman Canada:
Equal opportunity for girls is good for all of us.It is important to build up strong girls including standing up for what is right, no matter how hard it is, so that, one day, they become strong woman and that is important for future generations of Canadian society
Girls throughout the world face higher rates of violence, poverty, discrimination. In Canada, girls have higher rates of depression, sexual harassment and dating violence.
There is a growing recognition around the world that support for girls and their basic human rights is key for healthy communities.
Improving girls' lives has a ripple effect. What is good for them is good for all of us.
This international day promotes equal treatment and opportunities for girls around the world in areas such as law, nutrition, health care, education, training, and freedom from violence and abuse.