International Day of the Girl Child, this Sunday 11th October

This Sunday, 11th October is the United Nation’s International Day of the Girl Child, a recognition of girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This year’s theme focuses on adolescent girls and the Sustainable Development Goals, which set a range of international targets, including on gender equality, to be achieved by 2030.

UN Photo/Victoria Hazou

Photo: UN Photo/Victoria Hazou

As a particularly vulnerable demographic, adolescent girls face social, economic and political barriers:

  • Worldwide, more than 700 million women were married as children (below 18 years of age). More than one in three—or some 250 million—were married before 15. And child brides are often unable to effectively negotiate safe sex, leaving them vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy [1].

  • Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence [2].

  • In emergencies, adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to sexual violence, and in some cases, are abducted and exploited for sexual purposes by armed groups [3].

  • Nearly half (44 per cent) of adolescent girls worldwide aged 15 to 19 think a husband or partner is justified in hitting or beating his wife or partner under certain circumstances [4].


Join the conversation

Join the conversation around the International Day of the Girl Child using the hashtag #dayofthegirl and follow @UN_Women on Twitter. A social media package with images and messages in English, Spanish and French is available here.


Information sourced from:


The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference has put out a Parish Bulletin Notice on the International Day of the Girl Child, for use by any parishes around Australia, which is available here. The notice information about why the day exists, links to informational and prayer resources, and a prayer.


The National Office for the Participation of Women is an initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to promote the participation of women in the Catholic Church in Australia. More information is available on their website:

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 2:05 pm
Justice, Ecology and Development Office © 2014 Frontier Theme