Girls walk together outside Yumelela Primary School in Cape
Town, South Africa, June 1, 2015.
The world is home to more than 1.1 billion girls under the age
of 18, who are poised to become the world’s largest
generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, and change-makers.
The progress of teenage girls has not kept up with the realities
they face today, and the COVID-19 virus has reinforced many
of these gaps. And this year, under the slogan ” My Voice, Our
Equal Future, ” let us seize the opportunity to inspire what
teenage girls see as the change they want, and the solutions –
big and small – that they are leading and demanding around
In 2020, we celebrate 25 years since the adoption of the
Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a global agenda
for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and
girls everywhere. Generation Equality was also launched in
early 2020 as a multi-year, multi-partner campaign and
movement to take bold action on gender equality. A clear
narrative and action on adolescent girls’ needs, opportunities
and solutions is central to the Generation Equality mission.
As adolescent girls around the world affirm their power as
makers of change, International Day of the Girl 2020 will focus
on their demands for:
Live in an environment free from gender-based violence,
harmful practices , HIV and AIDS
Learn new skills towards the future of their choice
Lead a generation of activists to accelerate social change
Ways to participate
Share stories of inspiring teenage girls or girl-led organizations
developing innovative solutions or leading efforts towards
positive social change, including gender equality, in their
communities and countries. Let’s enhance their leadership,
actions, and influence to inspire others.
Participate in youth-led digital activation on the International
Day of the Girl. Young people around the world are developing
a digital activism campaign that aims to raise the diversity of
girls ’voices and their vision of a reimagined future.
Girls in class room. Credit: UNICEF
How does the COVID-19 virus affect women and girls
A profound shock to our societies and economies, the
COVID-19 pandemic underlines society’s dependence on
women, whether on the front lines or at home, while
simultaneously revealing structural inequality in all areas, from
health to economics and security to social protection.
In 1995, the World Conference on Women was held in the
Chinese capital, Beijing, and the two countries unanimously
adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action ,
which is the most advanced plan ever to advance the rights of
women and girls. This declaration was the first international
instrument to specifically defend girls’ rights.
On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly
adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 of each year
the International Day of the Girl Child, in recognition of the
rights of girls and the unique challenges that girls face all over
The International Day of the Girl Child aims to focus attention
on the need to address the challenges girls face and to
promote girls’ empowerment and realization of their human
Adolescent girls have the right to enjoy a safe life, access to
education and health, not only during these crucial formative
years of their lives, but also during their maturity stage to
become women. If support is provided effectively during the
teenage years, girls have the power to change the world by
empowering girls today, and also tomorrow to become
workers, mothers, businesswomen, mentors, family heads, and
political leaders. Investing in achieving adolescent power and
upholding their rights today will return to a more just and
prosperous future, as half of humanity is equal partners in
solving problems of climate change, political conflict,
economic growth, disease prevention and global sustainability.
Girls have overcome the barriers of stereotyping &
exclusion, including practices that target children with
disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. Girls
- as entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global
movements – are creating suitable environments for
themselves and for future generations.
It includes a sustainable development plan – in 2030, and the
seven goals of sustainable development adopted by ten world
leaders in 2015 – a roadmap for achieving sustainable progress
The issues of achieving gender equality and empowering
women are intrinsic to each of the 17 Sustainable
Development Goals. By ensuring the rights of women and girls
in every of the goals, we can achieve justice, inclusion, build
economies that work for everyone, and preserve the common
environment for us and for future generations.