International Day of the Girl Child

October 11, 2016


Every year since 2012, October 11 has been set aside to “recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.”[1] The day calls global attention to the need to address these challenges while promoting girls’ empowerment and the advancement of their human rights. This year, the theme “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls” focused on addressing the gaps in data; notably, the lack of girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data to inform policy and programming decisions on behalf of the girl-child.

To commemorate the day in Nigeria, I was invited to serve as the Mistress of Ceremony for a community event in Zaria, Kaduna State. The four-hour event featured presentations in drama, debate, poetry, and cultural dance by primary and secondary school girls. It was a powerful display of the diverse and often untapped talents that girls possess. The highlight of my time came when I asked the audience what they had learned from the day’s activities. Amidst various responses, one small primary school girl simply said, “I learned that every girl needs to know how to read.” My heart was delighted that as we celebrate yet another day for the girl-child, Nigerian girls are reminded of the value of education and ensuring that every girl is literate. Certificates and awards were presented to the best performers. Below are pictures from the day:








[1] United Nations. International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October. Accessed: 10/11/2016