Gender equality

Region and country activities

The 2013 International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated across the globe:

© UNICEF/Ghana 2013

BHUTAN: Children’s Consultation
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Babesa Lower Secondary School, Thimphu
What: In honor of the International Day of the Girl Child, children will come up with recommendations for the Government to improve the situation of girls’ education, the recommendations will be read out on the Day.

A panel discussion will be pre-recorded and aired on national television (BBS) to highlight issues of the girl child and this year’s theme, Innovate to Educate. 
Organizers: UNICEF Bhutan, National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), and the Ministry of Education. 

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Eastern and Southern Africa: Advocating for Girls’ Education
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Nairobi, Kenya
What: UNICEF's East and Southern African Office will host a regional advocacy event that brings together partners to celebrate girls, highlight challenges they continue to face and advocate for what needs to be done to achieve gender equality.  The event will celebrate the global theme of innovation and education and how it can make a difference in the lives of girls. It will also be venue for regional launch of Plan International's report on Girls in emergencies.
Organizers: UNICEF East and Southern Africa Regional Office

Moldova: “Including Roma Girls in School”
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: This year on the International Day of the Girl Child in Moldova UNICEF is focusing on the inclusion of Roma girls in school, in order to promote diversity in schools and fight against stigma and discrimination. Journalists, young bloggers and the members of the Network of Child Friendly Journalists will participate in a field trip to document good practices in the field and to create public debates around the issue of Roma girls’ inclusion. A press release and social media activities will focus on featuring successful stories.
Organizer: UNICEF Moldova
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Turkey: "Keep Their Hopes Alive"
When: 7-11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: UNICEF Turkey is organizing a panel discussion on 7 October in collaboration with UNIC and Lions. The panel will focus on girls’ education, and will include panelists from UNFPA, UNICEF, EU Delegation, ICC and the Flying Broom (NGO). The discussions will cover girls’ education in relation to child marriages, innovative approaches, national and international legislation/violence against children. Additionally, in collaboration with the UN Communication group in Turkey and the NGO Flying Broom, UNICEF is opening a social media discussion topic. Followers will be asked to complete the sentence "If a girl child doesn't go to school_______” (In Turkish, #KızCocuklarOkumazsa ___________.) The campaign will be using the identified global hastag #dayofthegirl and Turkish versions #KızCocuklarOkumazsa #11Ekim for our audience.
Organizers: UNICEF Turkey, United Nations Information Center, Lions and Flying Broom (NGO)
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Ghana: Tech Girls become advocates for education
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: In recognition of the International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF Ghana released a feature story about Tech Girls, a group of young girl equipped to become young journalists and tell their stories via blogs and digital photography in order to advocate for change in their communities. UNICEF Ghana Country Representative wrote an Op-ed that was submitted to Ghana’s major national newspaper for publication. Members of the Tech Girls will also gather in Tamale, Northern Ghana, on Friday afternoon to take part in the Google Hangout with Executive Director Anthony Lake.
Organizers: UNICEF Ghana
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Sierra Leone: “Do it differently! Promote Quality Education of Girls.”
When: 8-11 October 2013
Where: Freetown, Bombali, Bo, Kenema, Kambia, Tonkolili and Pujehun
What: UNICEF Sierra Leone is organizing community dialogue forums with children and other stakeholders in seven districts on the benefits of educating the girl child. Women in the Media (WIMSAL), a network of local female journalists, will be undertaking various media and advocacy activities including orientation and rights media training for journalists, media discussions using radio and television, and sensitization and mobilization of motor bike riders, mini bus drivers, and market women in all the four regions of the country. Girls in all the regions of the country will produce comedy and drama skits at community level with messages that promote their rights and welfare in their community. All these events will culminate in the main advocacy event on the 11th October, which will include girls making petitions to the President of Sierra Leone and key policy makers and speeches by various development organizations and agencies, including UNICEF.
Organizers: UNICEF Sierra Leone, the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and a network of NGOs, civil society and the media under the umbrella of the Sierra Leone Girls Education Network (SLeGEN)
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Madagascar: Young Mothers Returning to School
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Sofia region
What: In Madagascar, the focus of the International Day of the Girl Child will be on young mothers who dropped out of school due to pregnancy but received scholarships to return to junior secondary school to continue their schooling. This theme was chosen in order to sensitize communities about the importance of girls' education, including single mothers. The main event will include speeches by the Mayor, the UNICEF East Africa Regional Directors for Education and Protection, a puppet show on girls' education and early pregnancy by UNFPA, a personal story from a young mother reintegrated back into school and open exhibitions on on youth services and education of girls.
Organizers: UNICEF Madagascar & UNFPA
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Mozambique: School-based activities to Celebrate the International Day of the Girl
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Maputo Province & Nationwide
What: Three activities will be taking place in all secondary schools throughout the country: (1) debates by and for girls around questions concerning girls' education; (2) cultural and sports activities (3) participation in radio and TV programmes commemorating the date. The 'Mainstage' of the celebrations of the International Day of the Girl Child will take place at a secondary school in Maputo Province, with 1,500 adolescents. Activities will include cultural showcases as well as poetry and speeches by members of the United Nations, Minister of Education, and girls themselves.
Organizers: UNICEF Mozambique, Government of Mozambique (Ministry of Education) UN Gender Joint Team (comprising inter-alia, UNICEF, UNWomen and UNFPA) and civil society organizations (National Child Rights Coalition - ROSC), especially Plan International and Action Aid, Instituto Comercial e Industrial da Matola
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Uganda: Launching the Adolescent Girls Vulnerability Index, and presenting Cutting-edge Innovations for Girls’ Education
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: UNICEF Uganda has two major events planned for the International Day of the Girl Child. The first is the launch of the Adolescent Girls Index (AGI) for Uganda and East Africa, hosted by the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The AGI represents the first global effort to construct an index capturing the vulnerability of adolescent girls. The second is a major innovations event showcasing innovations for girls’ education. These will include EduTrac, Digital School in a Box & My Virtual School, U-report and Information Kiosks & the Uganda Content Portal. There will be a specific U-Report poll dedicated to this event and theme.
Organizers: UNICEF Uganda, the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development
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Nepal: Engaging Youth to Promote Innovation for Girls’ Education
When: 3-11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: UNICEF Nepal planned a number of activities to support this important day. On 3 October, UNICEF organized a cycle rally together with Plan International. The country office also consulted with adolescent girls and boys from 35 districts to produce “dream trees” in an exercise titled “My dream learning environment.” A booklet on the process and findings of the exercise was published. Additionally, a photo series with poems by adolescent girls all entitled “My Dream learning environment” was produced. The outcomes of the two above activities were displayed in a gallery at the main Day of the Girl event with dignitaries as well some 300 guests.

On October 4th, our main event consisted of a series of round table discussions on innovation for girls’ education. Participants in the discussions included adolescents girls and boys, scholars, the Joint Secretary National Planning Commission, Joint Secretary Ministry of Education and Joint Secretary Ministry of Women,Children and Social welfare, and other stakeholders. At this event, The UNICEF Nepal Country Representative also handed over the "Youth Courage Award for education" to Urmila Chaudhury, which she received from the UN Special Envoy on girls’ education on the Malala Day. Besides different speeches and performances by adolescents, the biggest achievement of this event was the launching of the National Plan of Action on holistic adolescent development. On October 11, UNICEF Nepal will hold events of diya lighting in all 75 districts, falling very well with the first day of Dashain, where every family lights diyo as part of starting the auspicious festival.
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South Asia: Raising Awareness about Innovations for Girls’ Education
When: 7-11 October 2013
Where: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India & Sri Lanka
What: Extensive multimedia and social media plans have been developed by country offices in South Asia, including photo essays, video & text human interest stories featuring innovations for girls’ education, coverage in major local newspapers, key messages around the theme to be broadcast throughout the week on social media sites including Facebook, Instagram and
Organizers: UNICEF Afghanistan, UNICEF Bangladesh, UNICEF India & UNICEF Sri Lanka
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Somalia: Google Hangout with Somali Girls Across the Globe
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Mogadishu, Norway & the UK
What: In honor of the International Day of the Girl, UNICEF Somalia is organizing its own Google Hangout between a school in Mogadishu and two other schools, one in the UK and another in Norway. Three Somali girls from each country will sit together to meet one another and exchange ideas, opinions and hopes. The chat will be recorded to be used on websites and other social media. Much like the concept of penpals, this is a way for children of similar ages to connect and learn more about those in other countries, but in this case, they are from the same culture – Somali culture – which is a very strong and quite unique culture, where, due to historical events, there are around 2million living in the diaspora. They will therefore discover some similarities and hopefully be a source of inspiration for each other.
Organizers: UNICEF Somalia, UNICEF United Kingdom National & UNICEF Norway
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Tajikistan: Official Ceremony in Dushanbe to celebrate the Day of the Girl
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Dushanbe City
What: In an official ceremony in the Sport Hall of Dushanbe city, girls, parents and decision makers will speak about the importance of innovations to accelerate progress for girls’ education. Children will also have the opportunity to participate in quizzes and contests in a way to raise awareness about girls’ education, and participants will have the opportunity to write answers to questions & share their ideas on the topic on a canvas with this day's logo. In addition to the main ceremony, public meetings will be organized by UNICEF partner (NGO "Oshtii Milli") with communities and PTAs (parents and teacher associations) to discuss issues related to and promote rights of education to education. Information about this day will be widely disseminated amongst the media.
Organizers: UNICEF Tajikistan, NGO "Oshtii Milli"
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Cuba: Screening of the film Rain and a discussion on issues effecting girls’ education
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Havana
What: This year, Cuba plans to establish a main event sponsored by the National Center of the School of Arts. There, a workshop attended by nearly 500 adolescent students, from different artistic backgrounds like music, visual arts, theater, ballet, and dance, will take place. The event will consist of a film debate about the movie “Rain”, directed by Maria Govan de Bahamas. The central theme of the film consists of the difficulties faced by an adolescent, 14-year-old, Rain, when she loses the grandmother she lived with since she was abandoned at a small age by her mother. Thanks to the support of a physical education teacher, the girl manages to become strong, raise her self-esteem, and is spared from sliding into the sordid world of marginalization.
The film can bring about a rich debate regarding the different themes: prostitution (practiced by Rain’s mother), drug addiction, HIV, exclusion in schools, gender inequality and most of all, the significance of the role of a good educator in childhood and adolescence.
Organizers: UNICEF Cuba, Cine del Caribe, the National Center of Sex Education, Ministry of Education, the Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation and the Federation of Cuban Women.
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El Salvador: Innovative ways to address violence against girls in school
When: Ongoing
Where: San Salvador
What: The project “Violence Prevention in the Education Sector” will focus on the reduction of violence in public education centers in the municipality of San Salvador, selected for their location in communities with high levels of violence. In the educational community, the strategy aims to generate a model of coexistence (management of conflicts and survival skills between girls, boys, and adolescents), based on the approach of human rights, gender, and inclusion in NNAJ1. The initiative will aim, through participation, to foster human development through the active involvement of youth in the San Salvador municipality.
Organizers: UNICEF El Salvador, Salvador del Mundo Foundation, Education Ministry, the Mayor’s Office of San Salvador, the National Council of Public Security, and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Spanish Agency of International Cooperation
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Mexico: Somos UNICEF Festival (We are UNICEF Festival)
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: Within the framework of International Girl’s Day and to present the digital communication platform, UNICEF Mexico will hold its first Somos UNICEF Festival (We are UNICEF Festival), which will engage youth in sports and new technologies, but above all, promote their participation in the ownership of their rights, with a focus on gender.
Nearly 350 adolescents will participate in the activities planned for Somos UNICEF Festival, through sport and artistic activities which will help them think about and build ownership of their rights, and hundreds more will be able to do so on social web sites. Within this structure, adolescents will listen to the testimonies of girls and adolescents that have been empowered to become agents of change in the promotion of rights, and whom have participated in the Post-2015 Agenda Education Consultation that took place in Turkey, similar to the Seminar of Girl Empowerment that took place in Brazil.
Organizers: UNICEF Mexico
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Nicaragua: Out-of-school girls participate in vocational trainings
When: Ongoing
Where: Bilwi, Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic
What: 34 at-risk and mostly out-of-school adolescent girls and boys participated in a vocational course about water and sanitation that included plumbing, masonry, construction of ferrocement tanks for collecting rainwater, and the installation of rope pumps for wells and indoor toilet installation. The courses concluded successfully, providing a path to employment for these disadvantaged youth. The International Day of the Girl is also featured prominently on UNICEF Nicaragua’s Facebook page.
Organizers: UNICEF Nicaragua, UNILEVER
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Panama: Promoting the Day of the Girl through Social Media
When: 7-11 October, 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: Panama will be active on Social Media Networks during the entire week of 7 October to 11 October, and will line up topics on the innovation of education for girls to advocate for the importance of investing in girls’ education. To reach a wider audience, there will be some publicity on Facebook to promote the day on 11 October. In Panama, Plan International will premiere its first Because I am a Girl photo contest awards and a UNICEF representative will attend the event.
Organizers: UNICEF Panama, Plan International
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Peru: Panel Discussion on the Demands and Challenges of a Quality education for Girls
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Lima
What: Through UNICEF’s participation in the Education Network for the Rural Girl, Florecer, Peru will convene a panel discussion on the demands and challenges of a quality education for Peruvian girls, and will hold a dialogue on education policy proposals focused on gender that aim to meet the educational needs of girls.  The public in attendance will be mostly authorities and specialties from the Education Ministry, and teachers and students of education. The panel will consist of two parts. In the first half, there will be a video forum with gender and education specialists regarding the educational needs of girls and socioeconomic conditions that make it difficult to end EBR. In the second half, education policy recommendations focused on gender will be made to promote access; timely completion of EBR; violence-free schools; the participation and empowerment of girls; and a measure that guarantees equal opportunities for girl and boys.
Organizers: UNICEF Panama, Education Network for the Rural Girl, Florecer, Education Ministry
Related links:,,

Lebanon: Event on early marriage and girls’ education
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Nabatieh Caza
What: To mark the International Day of the Girl Child and highlight issues related to adolescent girls including ending child marriage, UNICEF Lebanon and Intersos are organizing an event for adolescent girls at the Jibshid INTERSOS center, in Nabatieh Caza in south Lebanon. The half day event will be arranged for over 20 adolescent girls (13 to 18 years old), with different activities on early marriage. Role-playing games and artistic activities, such as painting and handicraft related to early marriage will be arranged. The girls will also be offered a small gift at the end of the work shop.
Organizers: UNICEF Lebanon, Intersos
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Middle East and North Africa: Raising awareness for Syrian girl refugees' education
When: 7-11 October 2013
Where: Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco & region-wide 
What: Across the Middle East, UNICEF is using the International Day of the Girl Child to highlight the issue of girls’ education for Syrian refugees. UNICEF has produced factographs, stories and portraits of Syrian girls which are being widely disseminated via social media.
Organizers: UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Related links:,,,

Pakistan: Celebrating the Day of the Girl through poetry
When: 1-11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: In view of current year's theme i.e. 'innovating for girls education' UNICEF Pakistan collected poems from young girls centering around issues of girls’ education.  One of these girls shared her poem to great applause at an Education Expo jointly hosted by UNICEF and UNESCO. The Expo aimed to provide a platform for cross learning, exchange of best practices and fertilization of unique ideas to grass root organizations, CSOs, institutes, academia, students and other interest groups. The groups were encouraged to share samples of work that has created an impact to strengthen opportunities for girl’s education at grass root and community level. The event was well attended by more than 100 participants including representatives of GoP officials, representatives of donors and bi lateral agencies, CSOs, Boy Scouts and Girls Guide Associations, parents, students, INGOs, print and electronic media and academia.
Besides the education expo there were several activities organized at provincial level with participation of communities, local governments and young girls and boys. These focused on mobilizing communities, young students, teachers and religious clergy for coordinated efforts towards improving the agenda for girls’ education. A radio show was also aired on the subject theme including the expert opinions of youth and religious leaders. Additionally key messages on girls’ education were broadcast throughout the day.
Organizers: UNICEF Pakistan, State Minister for Education, UNESCO
Related Links:;  The Nation article; Dawn article; Daily Times article; The News article; Pakistan Observer article


Ethiopia: UNICEF celebrates the Day of the Girl with the Federal Ministry of Education
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Addis Ababa
What: The Federal Ministry of Education and the Addis Ababa Bureau of Education celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child on Friday October 11, 2013.  Starting at the Bureau of Education, girls and boys, teachers, education officials, parents, Girls Education Advisory Committee members (local UNGEI members) marched to the rhythm of the Police Band through the streets of Addis Ababa to the Janmeda Youth Centre.  The streets came alive with colourful banners bearing messages such as “getting girls in school is yours, mine and everyone’s responsibility”  “let’s Retain girls in school” amd “Innovating for Girls Education.”  By the time the crowd reached Janmeda Youth Centre, the numbers had increased, with members of the public keen to hear what this was about. The event culminated with a lively discussion at Hilton Hotel where officials, teachers, parents, girls and boys reviewed progress on girls’ education in Ethiopia, highlighted the challenges and proposed suggestions for improving access, retention and achievement of girls through primary, secondary and tertiary education.  It was unanimously agreed that educated girls and women are a critical success factor for Ethiopia’s development.
Organizers: UNICEF Ethiopia, Ministry of Education, Parliament’s Women, Children & Youth Standing Committee, Addis Ababa Regional Education Bureau, UNESCO, Plan International, Packard Foundation, VSO, Addis Ababa University’s Institute of Gender, Addis Ababa PTA representative and Oromia Regional Education Bureau Representative
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Zambia: Celebrating the Day of the Girl with song and speech 
When: 11 October 2013
Where: Nationwide
What: The national launch for the Day of the Girl will be held in a rural district (Chongwe) with the Hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development and the UNICEF and Plan Representatives as the key speakers. National media will cover the event, bringing broad visibility. UNICEF has worked with partners to develop a theme song on the Day of the Girl, focusing on ending child pregnancies - the song will premiere at the launch and will be broadcast on radio stations nationwide. The song has versions in English and six other Zambian languages. In addition, as students are preparing for national exams in early November, UNICEF is working to hold mentoring sessions with girls at two girls secondary schools in late November and December - last year's speakers featured prominent women including the, Deputy Chief Justice, and other senior Government officials, lawyers, army and police commanders, as well as private sector leaders. The girl students "devoured" the networking and learning opportunity and UNICEF Zambia is excited to "grow" it this year - the speakers also found the event highly rewarding.
Organizers: UNICEF Zambia, Plan International
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West Africa: Spreading the message of innovation for girls’ education
When: 1-11 October 2013
Where: Senegal, Niger, Chad, Ghana, Sierra Leone & Togo
What: Across West Africa, UNICEF worked with partners to spread the message of the importance of girls’ education and finding innovative solutions to get girls in school. In addition to publishing press releases and human interest stories and pushing key messages on Facebook and Twitter, UNICEF West Africa regional offices conducted an interview with Swiss Radio. In the DRC and Ghana, UNICEF also got young people together to participate in the global Google Hangout with Tony Lake. Guinea ran a text message campaign to remind parents to send girls to school.
Organizers: UNICEF West Africa
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