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It's International Day Of The Girl Child - but what exactly does that mean?

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In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11 as International Day Of The Girl Child, which falls on Tuesday this year. So what is it all about?

What does it raise awareness for?

The UN says the aim is “to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world”.

It is a day which focuses “on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights”. Now that is definitely something we can get behind.

The fact that gender equality is part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights how girls are still subject to disadvantage and discrimination.

So today is a brilliant awareness day which both recognises the achievements of girls all over the world, whilst also aspiring to support a new generation of adolescent girls to fulfil their potential.

What is this year’s theme?

“Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress.”

This year’s event is also about taking stock of the gaps in data on girls and young women, which prevent gender equality from being achieved.

The UN says that “much more can and needs to be done to harness the data required to ensure programmes, policies and services effectively respond to the specific needs of girls”.

So today is an opportunity to consider smart investments that will specifically help girls in the future.

Based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the slogan for this year is: “Girls’ Progress equals Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “Let us all work hard to make sure we count all girls, because all girls count.”

What are people saying about it?

People all over the world are taking to Twitter to share their messages of empowerment, positivity and equality in honour of International Day Of The Girl Child.

So today is an opportunity to celebrate girls, as well as recognise that there is still a lot of work to be done towards gender equality.

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