Thursday, 11 October 2012

International Day of the Girl

Further to my posts earlier this month about girls and science, I'm informed that today - October 11th - is International Day of the Girl.

Following a large-scale campaign by the charity Plan, the United Nations has declared October 11th 2012 as the first ever International Day of the Girl - a day to spread the word that the power of investing in girls unleashes their incredible potential.

It is especially resonant given the appalling attack on fourteen-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai earlier this week. I've got a fourteen-year-old daughter. Although she moans about school sometimes (occasionally with good reason) she doesn't have to dodge bullets and risk Taliban death threats just to get there. We take so much for granted here.

Anyway, to show your support for this special day why not visit Plan UK's Facebook page and sign Plan’s petition calling on the UN General Secretary to lead action by world leaders to make girls’ education a priority.

As the father of two daughters I take it for granted that they'll receive an education enabling them to reach their full potential. I find it astonishing, revolting and deeply depressing that there are those who think otherwise and who are prepared to go to such extreme lengths to prevent half the population having access to something so simple, so basic and yet so hugely important.

We don't all live in the Swat valley or write a blog about our struggle to get an education but we can do something today - in the name of the education we've all received - to try and make a difference.


  1. Great concept.
    However I don't like the idea of the Millenium wheel going pink - or is that the wrong thing? I knew I shoulld have listened properly to Woman's Hour! I mean, why pink?

  2. At "my" school in Ghana we're working very hard to keep our girls in school past the age of about 13. It's not so much about offering them an education; there's a whole lot more that needs to be done. For example, often, in those places, the school is miles away from where the kids live. We have been able to get bikes donated so that those living really far away can get to school. We also have a nursery so that 2-5 year olds can come all day; in turn, that means that the mother can go out to work and the 12 year old daughter doesn't get pulled out of school to look after the little one.
    It also helps to give adult literacy classes so that the parents can educate themselves out of their situations and also can see the value for their daughters. Complex area but we're slowly gaining.


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