United Nations International Day of the Girl Child

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2013 National Women's Conference
19 October 2012
Carried as Amended

This Conference welcomes the establishment of the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child, inaugurated this year on October 11 2012, and to be celebrated on October 11 every year thereafter.

This Conference fully supports the aims of this event, i.e. to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.

This Conference recognises the importance of this event in the context of the following disturbing statistics:

1) By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s (adult) population who cannot read.

2) Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school.

3) One in seven girls in developing countries is married off before age 15.

4) Children as young as age 11 are forced to work as prostitutes, with some estimates having as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year

5) More than half of music videos feature a female portrayed exclusively as a decorative, sexual object.

6) More than half (54%) of all rapes of females happen before age 18.

This Conference recognises that there is much other practical work to be done to support young women and girls, but that the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child is an important development which should be supported as an opportunity to celebrate and to educate.

This Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee to seek to work with the National Young Members Forum and UNISON’s international committee to:

a) seek to ensure that in future the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child is marked appropriately by UNISON;

b) encourage regional women’s groups to seek to work with regional young members forums to mark the day;

c) seek to ensure that the day appears in UNISON calendars/diaries, etc;

d) press for relevant publicity through the union’s publications.