Green MEP for London, Jean Lambert, has marked the world’s first ever International Day of the Girl by taking part in a ceremonial event at the European Parliament which aims to draw attention to the unique challenges and issues facing girls in many developing countries.
Following an extensive campaign by global children’s charity, Plan, the United Nations designated 11th October as the International Day of the Girl; an annual day of advocacy which highlights the plight faced by girls and young women around the world. Inspired by the campaign, Jean co-authored a written declaration in the European Parliament which called upon the European Union to support the proposed day in order to advocate for greater action and investment to enable girls to reach their full potential .
The event in the European Parliament, which forms part of the European Week of Action for Girls, will focus on the barriers put in the way of girls’ education in developing countries. Research from across the world shows that 1 in 3 girls is denied a secondary education, yet an extra year of schooling increases a girl’s potential income, reduces infant mortality and adds to a country’s GDP.
Speaking ahead of the day, Jean said: “Every three seconds, one more girl, somewhere in the world, is forced into a marriage against her will to a man she didn’t choose. Sadly, this is just one of the many violations girls are subjected to every single day. From access to education and healthcare, to disaster situations and emergency response, girls face discrimination in every sphere which affects their whole life chances and are forced to suffer in silence.
“Research shows that there is no better investment then helping future generations of young women fulfil their potential. I am delighted to be celebrating the first International Day of the Girl, which will help ensure that girls and women receive the support and recognition they deserve as a citizens in their own right and as powerful agents of change.”
Notes for Editor
1. The written declaration was co-authored by Jean Lambert, Catherine Stihler, Veronique Mathieu, Katerina Neved’alova and Roberta Angelilli. The full declaration can be read at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+WDECL+P7-DCL-2011-0039+0+DOC+PDF+V0//EN&language=EN