The United Nations(UN) International Day of the Girl Child is observed annually on October 11 to recognize the rights of the girls and to promote their empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. The day also highlights the need to address the challenges faced by them around the world.
This year(2020), commemorates the 25 years of adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the global agenda for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls, everywhere.
Theme of International Day of the Girl Child 2020– “My Voice, Our Equal Future”.
About the theme
Grab the opportunity to reimagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted and invested in, as part of the global Generation Equality movement.
International Day of the Girl 2020
The day focuses on their demands namely:
- To Live a life that is free from gender-based violence, harmful practices and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
- To learn new skills for the future they choose.
- To lead a generation of activists accelerating social change.
UNICEF(United Nations Children’s Fund) launches an annual campaign with girls to increase their voices and stand up for their rights.
Points to be Noted
i.As per the data of UNICEF, annually 12 million girls are pressed into marriage before they turn 18.
ii.One in every five girls has faced sexual violence globally.
iii.As per the WHO(World Health Organisation), about 80% of fresh HIV infections among adolescents in southern and eastern Africa are among girls.
iv.Over the past 20 years, significant progress has been made in ensuring that the basic human rights of girls around the world are not violated.
About the Beijing declaration
i.The declaration is the most comprehensive policy agenda for gender equality.
ii.It was unanimously adopted at the World Conference on Women in Beijing countries in 1995.
iii.It is to be noted that this is the declaration 1st to particularly call out the rights of girls.
Note– In early 2020, Generation Equality was launched as a multi-year, multi-partner campaign and movement for bold action on gender equality.
The United Nations General Assembly, on december 19, 2011 adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child.
Sustainable Development Goals
i.World leaders in 2015 adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ii.The integral part to each of the 17 SDGs is to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.
2020 Events in India
To mark the day, the film division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India showcased select animation and documentary films.
Odisha Govt launches a programme Advika, for adolescent girls
The Department of Women and Child Development and Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha launched ‘Advika’(Every girl is unique), a new programme for the adolescent girls, aged between 10 and 19 years of the state. The programme was launched online by Tukuni Sahu, Minister Women and Child Development.
Along with Advika, Annual Report 2019 on Prevention of Child Marriage and a short video on “Domestic Violence” was released.
Yasmin Ali Haque, India’s representatives from UNICEF and Argentina Matavel Piccin, representative from UNFPA(United Nations Population Fund) for India announced that they will provide technical support to the Women and Child Development(W&CD) & Mission Shakti(MS) Department and the Govt of Odisha in this effort.
About the Advika
i.The programme is for the development and empowerment of adolescent girls.
ii.Under Advika, all the girls will attend the learning sessions at the Anganwadi centres across the state.
iii.The Advika contains the Anganwadi Pocket Book, and Frequently Asked Questions among others.
iv.A 12 months calendar of sessions has been designed to cover topics of Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health, etc.,
v.It is to be noted that Advika will also be a platform to connect girls to various government welfare programmes.
vi.To support the initiative, WSHS are to be trained and equipped
vii.As part of this initiative an MIS will be developed to track adolescent girls
‘Kishori Card’ to be introduced to record the BMI, haemoglobin and sessions of training undertaken. This helps to know the health, nutrition and safety status of adolescent girls.
Rajasthan Govt launches IMPACT app to monitor action taken under PCPNDT Act, 1994
Raghu Sharma, Health Minister of Rajasthan launched ‘IMPACT’(Integrated System for Monitoring of PCPNDT Act) mobile application(app) to ease the monitoring of action taken under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques(PCPNDT) Act, 1994 and the inspection activities. It was developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
i.The introduction of the app was a vital step to address the issue of falling sex ratio .
ii.The inspection report from the spot can be uploaded immediately by the officers concerned, through this app. This makes it easy to manage real time data.
iii.In total there are 3,600 registered sonography centres(private and government sectors) in the state. Of the total around 2,000 centres are functional.
iv.Daily reports can be uploaded by these centres along with the entry of ‘Form F’ that is filled at the time of sonography of pregnant woman through the mobile application.
v.In the app, a feedback system for the sonography centre operator has also been incorporated.
About PCPNDT Act, 1994
The Act was established to address the persistent problem of female foeticide and arrest the declining sex ratio in India.
The act as banned prenatal sex determination(prenatal testing for discerning the sex of a fetus before birth).