“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” – Malala Yousafzai

International Day of the Girl Child, is a day set aside by the United Nations to draw attention to the need to address the challenges girls face around the world and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. Annually celebrated on October 11, the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child is ‘EmPOWER Girls: Before, During, and After Conflict’.

In recognition of the fact that most girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises suffer even more, the United Nation has taken strides to recognise the achievements made in supporting young girls, while at the same time aspiring to support the current and upcoming generation of adolescent girls, to truly fulfil their potential as key actors in achieving a sustainable and equitable world. This is done in a bid to support the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for implementation over the next 15 years.

Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.

From the Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDP) camps to every neighbourhood and home around us, there are young girls with rights living around us. It takes team effort to build them up, protect them, and empower them in every community and situation they may be. We are to encourage and inspire our girls to have the courage to be, love, honour, and celebrate themselves.

This should not be a one-time occurrence though. Let us always strive to instill principles and values in our ladies and each other. Let us challenge them to explore the unknowns. There’s still room for progress in every field. Finally, EVERY DAY presents the opportunity for them to use their voices in their communities to make a powerfully positive impact by being authentic, unapologetic and genuine.

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