Our hope, innovators, future leaders… Amina Mohammed eulogises girls

OCTOBER 11 of every year is the date set aside by the United Nations – since December 2011 – to celebrate the International Day of Girls, also referred to as the International Day of the Girl Child.

To mark the day, several world leaders and top officials of the UN, including Nigeria’s former Minister of Environment and current Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Amina Mohammed, sent out messages on the social media, using powerful images and videos highlighting the numerous advantages humanity stands to enjoy if girl-child education and empowerment become a top priority for governments, especially in developing countries.

Mohammed, in a tweet on Thursday, described girls everywhere as “our hope, inspiration, future leaders, innovators & pacesetters who will make economies more inclusive & dynamic, families more resilient & communities free from fear, violence & poverty”.

In his own tweet, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, pointed out that “roughly 1/4 young people, most of them girls and women, are neither employed nor in education or training”, adding that “we need to expand opportunities so that girls can access a full range of occupations on equal terms”.

Amnesty International used the opportunity to call on the government of Burkina Faso “to urgently protect the country’s girls from female genital mutilation and forced marriage”.

Also, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, highlighted that his administration has “implemented free education for all female students in public secondary schools” as part of efforts at giving them equal opportunities as boys to go to school and contribute more meaningfully to societal growth.



    Below are what other world leaders and international organisations had to say to commemorate the day:

    The initiative first started as a project termed “because I am a girl” by Plan International, an international non-governmental organization. The project was aimed at raising awareness of the importance of nurturing girls globally, but particularly in developing countries.

    Eventually, during the 55th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, the Canadian Minister for the Status of Women, Rona Ambrose, sponsored a motion for the UN to set aside a day to raise support for the empowerment of the girl-child. 

    On December 19, 2011, the UN General Assembly voted in support of the motion, and October 11, 2012, was agreed upon as the inaugural International Day of Girls.

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