Credit: UNICEF/Mulugeta Ayene
Credit: UNICEF/Mulugeta Ayene

International Day of the Girl Child: education unions renew their commitment to advancing girls’ rights in and through education

published 11 October 2018 updated 11 October 2018

On October 11th, Education International and its affiliates renew their collective and professional commitment to advancing the rights of girls in and through education.

UN: “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce”

“With Her: A Skilled GirlForce” is the 2018 United Nations theme for the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, which starts a year-long campaign on creating a skilled ‘GirlForce’. This UN theme focuses on ensuring girls develop the skills they will need to enter and succeed in the labour market.

UN Statistics show that more than 90% of the 1 billion young people (including 600 million adolescent girls) will work in the informal sector, facing low pay, abuse and exploitation. It is also well known that globally, women are over-represented in informal employment.

UN Women: EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict

The UN Women theme - EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict– highlights the plight of the too high number of girls who become victims of violence, especially during and after conflict or emergency situations.

Both the fact that girls and women are more vulnerable to high rates of violence globally than men, and their disproportionate representation in informal employment, are closely linked to the social norms that give rise to gender inequity and inequality.

Ensuring gender equality in education requires collective accountability

The 2018 Global Education Monitoring Report Gender Review focuses on accountability for gender equality within education. The Report suggests that “ensuring gender equality in education is a collective enterprise in which all actors – and not just the government – make a concerted effort to meet their responsibilities”.

“As education trade unions, we believe strongly in the power of education to transform lives and societies. We recognise that education is both a right in itself, and an enabling right, through which other rights can be understood and claimed,” says Education International (EI) General Secretary David Edwards.

Click here for the UN Women International Day of the Girl Child social media pack in English, French and Spanish.