The 2019 theme for the International Day of the Girl (IDG) is Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable. This year we are celebrating achievements by, with and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the most comprehensive policy agenda ever for advancing the rights of not only women but girls.
In the Middle East and North Africa region expectations to adhere to socially constructed and stereotypical norms by families, peers and communities are disproportionately affecting girls, particularly when they reach adolescence, influencing their educational opportunities and equal access to take part of the labour market. Despite challenges, girls in the region are showing resilience, force and determination to achieve better futures for themselves. They are indeed Unscripted and Unstoppable.
Girls like Samar and Yara – applying innovative and entrepreneurial skills in solving challenges of mobility for women in Lebanon, through the idea of introducing women-only taxi services.
"Women in Lebanon are an active and valuable capital for the future of this country. We need to be allowed to show this. It’s time to give women a chance. We can do it"
Read Samar and Yara's story here.
And like Bayan - who brought digital literacy to her hometown in Syria – breaking stereotypes by building girls and youth skills in digital literacy and computer programming to meet the demands of the modern labour market.
"'Hello, World!’ is usually the first piece of code written by programming newcomers, this is also a mission statement for me, by introducing digital literacy to my community, a whole new world opens up for them"
Read Bayan's story here.
Or like Omnia and Fatima - two girls from Sudan who chased after their dream to work for the children of their country even when it took them away from their families to a hardship location like the Blue Nile: a conflict-affected state where some areas have not been reached by humanitarians in years.
UNICEF regional office in the Middle East and North Africa is committed, throughout the IDG year from 11 October 2019 to 11 October 2020, to contribute to the global effort of bringing together programming, advocacy and public engagement to elevate progress for and with girls in the region.
Learn more about the global IDG campaign here