• October 11, 2019
  • Seithuto Seakgwa
  • Press releases

International Day of the Girl Child

SOS Children’s Villages South Africa joins the world on this International Day of the Girl Child (11 October).

SOS Children’s Villages applies a Gender Policy that governs our work and promotes equal treatment, care, and protection of, especially girls. It promotes equal access to education and health care. Our Child protection policy is also instituted to protect children and the girl child.

Nearly 25 years ago in 1995, the fourth World Conference on Women made history with the adoption of the “Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action” for the empowerment of women and girls.

The theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child is “GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable”, celebrating all of the achievements by, with and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the passage of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990.

However, many of the commitments made to girls remain unfulfilled.

The Community survey 2016 results released by Statistics South Africa, indicates that over 91 000 girls in South Africa between the ages of 12 and 17 are married, divorced, separated, widowed or living with a partner as husband and wife, whereas South Africa has committed to eliminating child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

South Africa is becoming an increasingly unsafe place for women to live in. The Crime against Women in a South Africa Report by Statistics SA shows that femicide (the murder of women based on their gender) is 5 times higher than the global average. This means that in South Africa, women are 5 times more likely to be killed due to gender-based violence committed by men. This starts with the abuse of the girl child and the young woman.

SOS Children’s Villages calls on decision-makers to invest in girl children, their development and wellbeing. To provide them with enough support resources and to create safe societies where girls can flourish, and reach their full potential.

SOS Children’s Villages commemorates the day by encouraging the upliftment and empowerment of girls.