The Elders


International Day of the Girl 2012

“Choices define us and allow us to realise our potential. Child marriage robs girls of this chance.” Desmond Tutu and Graça Machel

Thursday 11 October is the International Day of the Girl. Read more about why child marriage is the focus of the day – and how you can contribute to improving the lives of millions of girls worldwide.

This Thursday 11 October marks the first-ever International Day of the Girl.

In a world where the adolescent girl is so often ignored, this is a day to highlight the unique challenges that girls face, raise awareness of girls’ rights and celebrate girls’ potential to change their communities for the better.

Spotlight on child marriage

Child marriage has been chosen as the official theme for the inaugural Day of the Girl: a sign of increasing awareness that girls’ empowerment will be impossible unless we address the fact that every single day, 25,000 girls around the world are married off before they turn 18.

As Desmond Tutu and Graça Machel recently wrote: “Choices define us and allow us to realise our potential. Child marriage robs girls of this chance.”

The issue of child marriage is often set aside as a sensitive ‘cultural’ issue; something that is taboo and difficult to address. Over the last two years, The Elders have worked to challenge this assumption and put child marriage at the top of the global development agenda. In 2010 they began to forge a global coalition of organisations tackling early marriage around the world. Read more about Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage.

Take action to help end child marriage

This International Day of the Girl is an opportunity to highlight some of the inspiring work already being done to tackle child marriage, as well as a chance to join together and call on the international community to support programmes and laws aimed at ending this harmful practice.

With the Millennium Development Goals expiring in 2015, it is also an important moment to encourage world leaders to make the needs of the adolescent girl a focus in any post-MDG development framework.

Join The Elders and Girls Not Brides in marking the day:

  1. Watch and share our new video: International Day of the Girl: fulfil girls' potential; end child marriage

  2. Join Mary Robinson, Christy Turlington, experts and activists who will be discussing child marriage and answering your questions in a live Google+ Hangout on 11 October. We’ll be streaming the Hangout from The Elders’ website and anyone can take part by sending in questions and watching the live discussion. (You don’t need to be signed up to Google+!)

  3. Spread the word on social media: tweet using the hashtags #endchildmarriage and #DayoftheGirl; retweet @GirlsNotBrides and show your support by adding this Twibbon to your profile.

  4. Join one of the hundreds of organisations and individuals worldwide – including more than 50 members of the Girls Not Brides partnership in 30 different countries – celebrating the International Day of the Girl with activities and events designed to raise awareness about girls’ rights. Find an event near you.

Videos Day of the Girl: giving girls a voice
On the Web
What does #childmarriage mean for girls? How can it end?… watch this video via @GirlsNotBrides #IDG2013 #dayofthegirl
THIS FRIDAY we're also teaming up with @onegirlorg to host the screening of "Girl Rising"… #DayoftheGirl
Oct. 11 is the #DayOfTheGirl Honor a woman who has impacted your life by tweeting about her with tags #standup4girls and #dayofthegirl
Here's a great way to let people know about International #DayoftheGirl Child - send them an e-postcard:… @Canada_swc
U.N.'s 2nd annual International Day of the Girl approaching… #idg2013 #dayofthegirl
70% of the world's poor is made up of #women and #girls. It doesn't have to be this way. #investingirls #education #dayofthegirl #endpoverty
Congratulations to all who support @planglobal, 1.5 million hands raised for girls' education!… #IDG2013 #dayofthegirl
“On #dayofthegirl, 33m girls are missing out on their right to education"…
Do you have the ROARing spirit? Join @katyperry to support all girls' right to education! WATCH:… #dayofthegirl
New Factsheet on New Launch of Public& Private Initiatives To Raise the Status of Girls from @StateDept… #DayoftheGirl
RT @warisara: Here are some pics of iconic monuments turned pink for the launch of #bcimagirl #dayofthegirl on #BBC Newsround http://t.c ...
The Forgotten Girls @independent Support the Fight Against Forced Marriage @PlanUK International #DayoftheGirl…
"Development matters most to girls and women" says Justine Greening on #DayoftheGirl:… #endchildmarriage @DFID_UK
On October 11th, we are celebrating #DayoftheGirl ! Find out why #DayoftheGirl was created…
Give girls a chance to postpone motherhood until they are women #endchildmarriage… @ICRW #DayoftheGirl @10x10act
Of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth, 70% are girls. Oct 11 is the #DayoftheGirl -…
Want to learn more about the first #dayofthegirl? Read the UN General Assembly Resolution here!…
RT @melindagates: Today is the first #DayoftheGirl, and it's about time. We see more urgent reasons every day. Now, anyone can help: htt ...
International Day of the Girl (11 Oct) - Resources… #dayofthegirl
2500 girls become #childbrides every single day… Help us spread the word #endchildmarriage @CARE #DayoftheGirl
Did you know 41% of women aged 20-49 today were married before 18?… On #DayoftheGirl let's act to #endchildmarriage
Oct 11 is #dayofthegirl: + girls' rights and end #gender bias. PRB says #FP and #GenderEquality go hand-in-hand:…
Raise your hands for #dayofthegirl supporting girls' right to a quality education…
How are you celebrating International #DayoftheGirl? Here's a list of ways YOU can get involved!…
@HungerProject "When women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits." #DayoftheGirl…
Why I am so delighted to be involved in first ever International Day of the girl --> Because I'm a girl… #dayofthegirl
Investing in girls unleashes their incredible potential! Such a great cause.… #DayOfTheGirl


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The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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