International Day of the Girl Child

The International Day of the Girl Child, is marked annually 11 October. This day, aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and fulfilment of their human right.

The theme for 2018 is, “With Her: A Skilled GirlForce” 

The current generation of girls, are currently embracing themselves to venture into a world of work, that is rapidly evolving due to innovation and high technology. It is instrumental that girls are educated and skilled, to embrace the requirements of such professions.

Currently, there are around 1 billion young people, out of which 600 million are adolescents girls- that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of girls residing in developing countries will be employees in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are an unfortunate, but common practice!  

The United Nations, is working alongside girls to expand existing opportunities, pave new pathways and calling on the global community to rethink how to prepare them for a successful transition in the world of work.

On this International Day of the Girl Child, I had the opportunity of talking to two girls 12-year old girls from a public school in Bangalore, India.

Q: “In your opinion, what are the most risk intensive occupations that girls or female youth can be employed for?”

A: “I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that girls like us change the way things are, especially in our country, I think every job can be risky. Coming back to your question, I think the most risky jobs are the ones that fall under grey area jobs, since they are not taxed, and the government holds no records of them. In these jobs, women are often paid lesser, or even nothing, compared to their male counterparts. It also makes it harder for the employees to raise issues of abuse and/or harassment, I think this affects both women and men, unfortunately.”

Q: “The United Nations aims to ‘prepare them [girls] for a successful transition in the world of work’, what do you think the UN, and other local authoritative bodies can do in this matter?”

A: “I think the most important thing is, they listen to girls from all ethnicities, religions, socio-economic statuses, race, and walks of life; this will be the only way that the United Nations will be able to help all girls. Regarding local authoritative organisations, I believe it is time that they listen to our voices! Local policy makers are extremely qualified, but they do not know what it is like being a girl today, and the only way that they will be able to create policies that help us in the best  way possible, is by listening to our thoughts and opinions!”

We would like to hear your opinions!

In your opinion, what are the most risk intensive occupations that girls or female youth can be employed for?

The United Nations aims to “prepare them [girls] for a successful transition in the world of work, what do you think the UN, and other local authoritative bodies can do in this matter?

What are some things the United Nations should take in consideration, for girls’ who will be professionally entering the sciences, in the next decade?