The International Day of the Girl Summit brings thousands of girls and girl-serving organizations together to celebrate the International Day of the Girl every year on October 11. The 2021 theme was "Closing the Digital Divide to Accelerate Change". Girls lack access to the digital space because of their age, gender, a geographic location. This exclusion of girls in the digital space impacts their access to education and decisions-making spaces, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN reports that 2.2 billion people under the age of 25 years do not have Internet access at home, especially young girls.
Signature initiatives of the IDG Summit include: 11 Days of Action Campaign running from October 1st – October 11th, and the Girls Speak Out event. PPSEAWA was a co-sponsor on the Collective Day of Action on October 11!
The poster with recommendations arsing from the Girls Speak Out virtual program on October 11 was created by a young graphic designer named Ipsita Divedi. Here are some examples of actions that can be taken:
- We need to recognize that traditional and cultural practices limit digital access, so parents/guardians need to be educated on the importance of digital access
- We need to build girls' capacity to learn how to use digital platforms and ensure their access to devices
- We need to create safe spaces online for girls, free from digital bullying, abuse, and harassment
- We need to create digital spaces where girls can get information about their their bodies, their choices, and their rights
- We need girl-led digital solutions. Girls should be involved with revising educational standards and school curriculums in the domain of digital teaching. Girls should be involved with creating online content.
Many thanks to Amy Banker is a PPSEAWA International Representative to the UN/NY, with the Working Group on Girls (WWG), the sponsor of IDG Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York.