First International Day of the Girl Child
A platform for sustained action and commitment to empower girls
11 October 2012 - On the first International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF and partners are highlighting joint efforts to end child marriage – a fundamental human rights violation that impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. The International Day of the Girl Child reflects the need to put girls’ rights at the center of development and the need to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Promoting girls’ rights helps reducing their risks of violence, early pregnancy, HIV infection, and maternal death and disability and enables girls to stay in school which builds a better foundation for a better life for themselves and their families.
Globally, more than one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18. One third of them entered into marriage before they turned 15. Child marriage results in early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks for girls. In developing countries, 90 per cent of births to adolescents aged 15-19 are to married girls, and pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death for girls in this age group.
Girls with low levels of schooling are more likely to be married early, and child marriage has been shown to virtually end a girl’s education. Conversely, girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children, making education one of the best strategies for protecting girls and combating child marriage.
In Romania there are more than 2 million girls aged 0-18 years, 51% of them living in urban area. According to data girls are exposed to risks in their lives, affecting their health, education and social protection:
In Romania, UNICEF is committed to address girls’ vulnerabilities in education, health and child protection by:
Through empowering girls and safeguarding their rights, girls will flourish in a safe and productive environment. Governments, civil society and UN agencies are working together to accelerate action for girls to claim their rights and realize their full potential.