International Day of the Girl Child – 11 October

Did you know that there are 1.1 billion girls in the world today? Undoubtedly you’d agree that each one of them deserves equal opportunities for a better future. However, most girls in today’s world face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises are suffering even more.

UN statistics confirm that every ten minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking. Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90% more likely to be deprived of schooling when compared to girls in conflict-free countries. This results in severely diminished future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.

Across the world, empowered girls are raising their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts. They are working to end violence against women and girls, to recognize indigenous rights, and to build peaceful and cohesive communities.

For over two hundred and ten years, Brigidine Sisters , founded in Ireland in 1807 by Bishop Daniel Delany, have educated young people, especially young women and girls. Today, this work of educating girls is largely carried on by others. However, Brigidine Sisters continue to raise awareness, advocate and take action for greater justice for women and girls through their involvement and support of Cairde Bhride (Friends of Brigid), RENATE (a European network of religious working against human trafficking and exploitation), ANZRATH (Aotearoa-New Zealand Religious Against the Trafficking of Humans), ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans), Catholic Charities in US, UNANIMA International, Pacific Partnership Calling and other local and global initiatives.

On International Day of the Girl Child 2018, we recommit to the education of girls and to supporting for young women around the world, especially those facing crises such as displacement due to natural disasters, violence, war, poverty, discrimination, persecution or the effects of climate change.