European Parliament officially supports International Day of the Girl
16 December 2011
WAGGGS’ work to promote the creation of an annual International Day of the Girl has taken a major step forward after 393 Members of the European Parliament this week signed a declaration in support of the idea.
The United Nations General Assembly will vote on the proposal when it meets on Monday 19 December, and it is hoped that the European Parliament’s declaration of support will strengthen the campaign's chances of success.
A day to focus on girls
WAGGGS has worked together with the European Parliamentary Forum (EPF) and development charity Plan International to promote the International Day of the Girl, which is proposed to take place on 22 September.
If approved by the UN, International Day of the Girl would be a worldwide day of focusing on girls, when advocates of girls’ rights could draw the world’s attention to their cause.
“An International Day for the Girl will create a foundation for awareness in the EU and beyond to ensure that girls get the investment and recognition they deserve as citizens and as powerful agents of change within their own families, communities and nations,” said Estrela.
Uncovering girls' potential
WAGGGS Europe Region regional director Penelope Cooper said: ”In many countries, girls’ potential remains undiscovered and ignored. By enabling girls and young women to fulfill their potential and take an active role in society, and by making sure girls and young women are healthy, educated and share equal rights, entire economies and society at large will benefit.”
The 393 European Parliament members now officially supporting the proposal include representatives from all 27 EU member states. Women's rights and gender equality vice-chair Edite Estrela submitted the declaration to the European Parliament, together with co-submitter MEPs Véronique Mathieu, Jean Lambert, Katerína Neved’alová and Roberta Angelilli.
Girl Guides of Canada has worked extensively and successfully over the past year to persuade the Canadian government to create a National Day of the Girl.
The government then decided that Canada would lead the effort to make the Day of the Girl an international event. Canada will therefore make the proposal for International Day of the Girl at the General Assembly on Monday.