International Day of the Girl Child 2018

Young girls from Mtakataka Secondary School in the District of Dedza, Malawi. Photo: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker
Young girls from Mtakataka Secondary School in the District of Dedza, Malawi. Photo: UN Women/Karin Schermbrucker

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On International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), themed “With Her: A Skilled Girl Force”, join UN Women as we stand with girls everywhere as they inspire, innovate and take charge of their own future.

“This is a critical time for the girls of our world”

On the International Day of the Girl Child, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, writes a letter to all the girls of the world to celebrate their strength and the potential.Read more»

The 1.1 billion girls of today’s world are challenging the status quo. They’re redefining girlhood, and they’re doing so against the odds.

Across the world, girls face adversities that hinder their education, training and entry into the workforce.They have less access to information, communication technology and resources, such as the internet where the global gender gap is growing.

A quarter of young people, most of them girls, are neither employed nor getting an education or training.

This year alone, 12 million girls under 18 will be married, and 21 million girls aged 15 to 19 years will become pregnant in developing regions.

And yet, they persist, they succeed. They are innovating technology to solve global challenges, they are standing up for the environment, they are raising their voices against violence and they are preparing to run for office.

Fast facts

By the age of 6, girls already consider boys more likely of showing signs of being more suited to "really really smart" activities than their own gender
Young women are more likely to be unemployed in large parts of the world
In developed countries, 94% of youth aged 15-24 use the internet. In developing countries, 67% of youth aged 15-24 use the internet

Top stories


African girls can code initiative first coding camp in Addis Ababa
The African Union Commission (AUC), UN Women Ethiopia, and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) launched the African Girls Can CODE Initiative (AGCCI). The project is designed to expose and equip young girls with digital literacy, coding and personal development skills. The four-year programme will train young girls to become programmers, creators and designers, placing them on track to take up educations and careers in ICT and coding.

Social media

Let’s invest in the education and skillsets of girls to set them on a path to achieve their greatest potential in their future jobs.

Join the conversation using #dayofthegirl #GenUnlimited (English); #díadelaniña (Spanish); #journéedelafille (French)

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See our In Focus pages for International Day of the Girl Child in the past: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012