Zonta International statement on International Day of the Girl Child 2021

International Day of the Girl Child emphasizes the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote the empowerment and human rights of girls.

We are in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which enhanced digital platforms for learning and connecting. It also highlighted the diverse digital realities of girls. This year, the theme for International Day of the Girl is “Digital generation. Our generation.”

“The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real,” the United Nations said. “It is an inequity and exclusion gap across geographies and generations that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all, by all.”

“To conquer the gender digital divide, we must include girls in creating solutions and expand their opportunities so every girl around the world can live to her full potential,” said Zonta International President Sharon Langenbeck.

One essential opportunity every girl deserves is quality education. According to Investing in the Pathways to Employment, a report published in July 2020, nearly one in four girls aged 15-19 globally are not in school, employment or training, compared to one in 10 boys. The report points out that girls’ education helps to close gender wage gaps and can contribute to enhancing adolescent girls’ voice in their households.

Zonta International invests in education for women and girls through our international service projects and our four scholarships, fellowships and awards.

To celebrate the International Day of the Girl, the UN is asking people to share stories, blogs and/or videos “of inspiring adolescent girls who are tech trailblazers while collectively amplifying our call to action to expand these pathways for every girl, everywhere.”

Our 2021 Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Awardees inspire us. To learn more about these 10 young women—who are addressing gender and racial inequality, gender-based violence, climate change and sustainability, bullying, gun violence, disability rights and more—click here to read their stories.

11 OCTOBER 2021