Fingers Crossed for an International Day of the Girl

Labour Party

I am one of 393 MEPs who signed the Written Declaration in support of an International Day of the Girl which gained parliamentary approval last week in Strasbourg.

I chose to sign this written declaration as I believe it is important that people are aware of the barriers that girls continue to face in society. The declaration was submitted by my colleague Edite Estrela (Portuguese member of the EP Socialist and Democrats group) who is a chair on the Women’s rights and Gender Equality Committee.

Around the world girls are disadvantaged in many ways in comparison to their male counterparts. This includes in access to education and healthcare and that they are more likely to be malnourished and they face a greater risk of being exposed to gender based violence.

Organisations including the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), Plan International and the European Parliamentary Forum (EPF) have worked together to campaign for greater awareness off the difficulties girls face for being girls during this international campaign.

By gaining the backing of over half the MEPs the European Parliament officially supports international calls to create an international day for a girl. The UN will decide today whether to act on this call during its General Assembly.

If the UN supports this request the 11 October will be recognised as the International Day of the Girl. The situation of girls around the world will be given a platform from which to raise global awareness.

There are already number of other UN recognised days such as World Aids Day and the International Day for Persons with Disabilities. These days act as an annual reminder of the barriers we need to remove to achieve a fairer and more equal world.