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“On this International Day of the Girl, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms
and reach her full potential. “
— UN Secretary-General António Guterres
International Day of the Girl Child 2018 is being observed across the globe and puts the spotlight on enhancing girls’ skill sets so they enter the future workforce on equal terms as their male counterparts.
2018 theme: With Her: A Skilled Girl Force
The theme lays emphasis on education and skill enhancement required for the girl child today so that she enters the workforce fully skilled, up-to-date with the technology and digitalization, a decade from now.
Today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed or in education or training.
Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.
Meet the co-founders of WiSTEM, who provide children in Nepal with lessons on coding, electronics and design thinking. The organisation shows that if you empower a girl, you change the world.
Right now, many girls are not developing the skills they will need to secure decent work later in life.
- Ten per cent of primary-aged girls are out of school.
- Many more are not able to progress to secondary school and need support developing basic skills in reading and math.
Transferable skills – such as self-confidence, problem solving, teamwork and critical thinking – are essential to succeed in the rapidly changing world of work, yet many schools do not focus on these “21st century skills”, including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.
Many girls do not have access to mentors, career guidance or the training they need to transition from school to work. Those who are entrepreneurs face barriers to accessing finance or business skills.
Girls’ full participation in the future workforce requires tackling gender stereotypes across professions and addressing the many systemic barriers to decent work they face.
On 11 October, International Day of the Girl, we are working alongside all girls:
- to expand existing learning opportunities,
- chart new pathways and
- call on the global community to rethink how to prepare them for a successful transition into the world of work.
International Day of the Girl will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.
Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl.
The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face,
while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
4GGL thanks Unicef for this story and video.