The History of Day of the Girl

Today is International Day of the Girl Child, or Day of the Girl.

Day of the Girl was established by the United Nations in 2011 and focuses on the girl as a child to celebrate the potential of girls across the world in the face of threats, discrimination, and the issues of their well-being. While shedding light on the issues girls are facing today, the Day of Girl also aims to promote empowerment. According to the UN website, “An investment in realizing 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.”

A new emoji designed for the International Day of the Girl by Plan International Canada, in collaboration with A new emoji was recently designed for the International Day of the Girl by Plan International Canada, in collaboration with the United Nations and Twitter.

Day of the Girl has a theme. The past ones were:


2012- Ending Child Marriage

2013- Innovating for Girl’s Education

2014- Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence

2015- The Power of Adolescent Girls: Vision for 2030

2016- Girls' Progress= Goals’ Progress

2017- EmPOWER Girls: Before, During and After Conflict


This year the theme is With Her: A Skilled GirlForce.


Of the 1 billion young people that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common. Today marks the beginning of a yearlong effort for the UN to bring together partners and stakeholders to “advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability”.


There are 1.1 billion girls in the world, and over 62 million of them have no access to education. Girls in conflict zones are 90% more likely to be out of school, compared to girls in conflict-free countries, which compromises their future and potential. Child marriage is one of the most pressing issues facing girls worldwide as an estimated one in three girls are married before they are 18, and one in seven before they turn 15. There are 700 million women alive today who were married before 18.