Amsterdam, the Netherlands – 11 October is established by the United Nations as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day promotes girls’ human rights, highlights gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys and addresses the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the world.
The International Day of the Girl Child 2014 theme is “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence”, in recognition of the importance of investing in and empowering girls during adolescence and preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence they experience.
AWEPA and its network of European and African parliamentarians have been working for several years now on Ending Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) and Child Marriage. Since 2011, AWEPA has been collaborating with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF towards the abandonment of FGM/C in the context of the Joint Programme Female Genital Mutilation: Accelerating Change.
In 2014, AWEPA and Plan Netherlands launched a 4-year programme in Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt towards abandonment. Funded by the Government of the Netherlands, it tackles the issue at three levels: institutional, civil society and community. Through this programme, AWEPA aims to contribute to an increased capacity of African parliamentarians to legislate around the protection of women and girls from violence, including FGM/C; while supporting national parliaments in their endeavour towards the abandonment of the practice.