11th October 2018 marks the International Day of the Girl Child(IDG 2018). Observed annually since 2012, this day focuses on the needs and challenges faced by girls from all over the world. On the 7th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl, this year’s theme is ‘With Her: a skilled GirlForce.’
To mark this day, ARC conducted sessions in association with Ministry of Gender and Family as part of their Girls Lead initiative and under ARC’s GRACE Campaign. This campaign was launchedin 2015, with the hopes of developing a new generation of girls who are not afraid to go after their aspirations and goals. GRACE focuses on helping girls build resilience, aspirations, capabilities and empowerment. Through GRACE, girls are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary for further studies and employment, and guided to make informed decisions by researching the job market and seeking out opportunities, regardless of their professions of choice. The first session held at Ministry of Gender and Family on 10 October 2018, highlighted these points, and opened up a discussion among girls about demolishing gender stereotypes.
To mark this day last year, ARC launched a child friendly version of Convention on the Elimination of all form of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), in partnership with the British High Commission in Colombo. Today’s second session was focused on CEDAW, and helping raise awareness among girls on their basic rights. As part of the celebrations of IDG 2018, ARC will be distributing copies of the CEDAW booklet to all schools in the Maldives as a tool for boys and girls to learn the content of the Convention as well as gain a basic understanding of human rights and how men and boys could help in the prevention of discrimination and violence against girls and women.