The Day of the Girl is a response to an urgent problem facing our world today: the neglect and devaluation of girls around the world. On October 11 of every year, we see dynamic groups across the world (led by girls, of course) acting to highlight, discuss, celebrate and ultimately advance girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe. When girls come together to talk about what really matters to us, we can teach ourselves and other people–adults, boys, and other girls all across the world–new ways of thinking about gender issues, which will help us take action to change the status quo.

October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement. A worldwide revolution.

The Day of the Girl is bigger than one issue, one organization, one country, and even the day itself. It is a yearly reflection of what we’ve done and what we need to keep doing to fully achieve gender equality everywhere.

Why a Day for Girls? Here's a dozen reasons.

As girls, we experience inequality in every aspect of our lives. There are a billion reasons why we need the Day of the Girl, but let’s start with just a dozen (all are linked to their source):

By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s illiterate (adult) population. (PDF)

Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school. (PDF)

Girls make up half of the high school population, but receive only 41% of all athletic participation opportunities.

Women only hold 15.7% of top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies.

One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.

More than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18. (PDF)

1 in 5 high school girls has been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.

Children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.

54% of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.

57% of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.

Females continue to be underrepresented in top roles in film with less than 1 in 3 speaking characters in children’s movies.

These are only the tip of the iceberg! Here are some great reasons why we need Day of the Girl from young activists across the world.

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Want to see more of these? Check out ours here, and submit your own!

About the International Day of the Girl Child:

In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. Its mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.” You can read the United Nations General Assembly Resolution on the International Day of the Girl Child for yourselves!

From the U.N.’s website,

“On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.”

“Girls face discrimination and violence every day across the world. The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.”

This successful campaign to establish the United Nations International Day of the Girl was led in 2011 and 2012 in the US by School Girls Unite, an organization of students and young women leaders determined to advance the UN Millennium Development Goals related to gender equality and universal basic education, and other human rights issues. We worked hard to meet with members of the White House Coalition on Women and Girls, the U.S. State Department, and encouraged girls across the country to proclaim the Day of the Girl in their communities!

Currently, we are 100% youth-led by an Action Team of 13 girls and young women from all across the country. We want organizations and groups to join the movement by raising awareness, hosting events, and taking action!

Opinions presented on this website and on the related blog reflect the opinions of the author, not of the UN or any related organization. The Day of the Girl-US Action Team does not censor and we encourage multiple viewpoints.


We are grateful to Plan International and other organizations in nearly 100 countries that mobilized support for the UN Resolution. In America, we appreciate thousands of supporters who signed our petition and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.