This International Day of the Girl Child let us take a look at girls who grow up in marginalised societies and developing countries.

October 11 is International Day of the Girl Child. This year the theme is Innovating for Girls’ Education. All over the world girls face unique challenges not only at home but also at schools and in society. This day is set aside to recognise the rights of the girl child.

One of the most imperative and important obligations society has towards the girl child is education. This is a powerful tool in transforming not only her life but also that of her whole family. It determines development, health, poverty reduction and a tendency to social change.

For many girls, especially those from marginalised communities, education continues to remain a distant dream. They are not able to attend school for many reasons — distance from home to school, finance, institutional and cultural barriers and so on.

School or work?

For many of them, the family thinks that sending the girl to school deprives the home of an additional income and an opportunity to escape from household chores. The aspirations of how they would perform in school are also rather low. Hence it is of great importance to bring home the fact that an educated girl could transform the society.

Recognising the need for this, this year International Day of the Girl Child will address the importance of new technology, the use of resources and the help of the community and most importantly the engagement of young people. There is also a need for improved public and private transportation for girls to get to and from school, providing science and technology courses that would be targeted at girls in schools and mentor programmes to help girls acquire skills that would make their transition from school to work smooth and easy.