The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

Nearly 25 years ago, some 30,000 women and men from nearly 200 countries arrived in Beijing, China for the Fourth World Conference on Women, determined to recognize the rights of women and girls as human rights. The conference culminated in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: the most comprehensive policy agenda for the empowerment of women.
In the years following, women pressed this agenda forward, leading global movements on issues ranging from sexual and reproductive health rights to equal pay. More girls today are attending and completing school, fewer are getting married or becoming mothers while still children and more are gaining the skills they need to excel in the future world of work.
Today, these movements have expanded. They are being organized by and for adolescent girls, and tackling issues like child marriage, education inequality, gender-based violence, climate change, self-esteem, and girls’ rights to enter places of worship or public spaces during menstruation. Girls are proving they are unscripted and unstoppable.
This year, under the theme, “GirlForce: Unscripted and unstoppable”, we will celebrate achievements by, with and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Click here for more information. – United Nations

The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.
Girls are breaking boundaries and barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalized communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are creating a world that is relevant for them and future generations.

For girls in the developing world, gender equality isn’t just about glass ceilings. It’s about basic rights.

Each year, millions of girls in poverty are kept out of school. In some countries they are forced to stay home and work, in others, they are too embarrassed to attend school due to lack of books, resources or facilities to cater to girls during the menstruation cycle.
Soroptimists are changing attitudes, addressing issues and enabling many more girls to attend school and break the poverty cycle.

Soroptimist International of the South West Pacific Club Education Projects


Townsville Breakwater PacksSI Townsville breakwater and SI Beenleigh, Queensland - Club's partnering with state Women's Correctional Centres Projects.
SI Townsville Breakwater partnering with the Townsville Women’s Correctional Centre and the Joyful Foundation have assisted with the supply of 800 stationery packs. The women inmates at the Correctional Centre have beautifully crafted and sewn 800 bags (known as library bags). SI Townsville Breakwater has completed 363 of the 800 bags. The Joyful Foundation supplies these basic school stationery packs for school children in the Townsville area.
An interview with club member Janet Asken and the women at the correctional centre, provided by Channel 7 can be viewed her 


Beenleigh PacksSI Beenleigh for over 10 years now has been suppling "Target 10" packs to school children in the South Queensland region. Partnering with the Helena Jones Correctional Centre, the women inmates make up the beautiful library bags. SI Beenleigh place 10 essential stationery items into these packs. Last year the club distributed 320 packs to families, including donating 25 to the School of Air in Longreach. These packs are very much in demand and each February schools in the district places their orders.


 

SI HELEna Girls in STEMSI Helena, Western Australia - Girls in STEM Forum.   SI Helena planned a project around encouraging girls entering High School to enroll in STEM subjects.
Planning and forging a partnership with primary schools. They created a one-day forum for primary school students entering High School. A program for the day was devised, with club President Fay who is a medical scientist and two other female scientists, one a botanist ( Dr Alison Ritchie) spoke about their professions. Dr Ritchie spoke to the girls about the work being done to re-establish Banksia woodlands on the Swan Coastal plain. Alison also explained a revolutionary method of seeding large areas of cleared land with the help of a pasta maker! She was able to share an engineering aspect of her scientific study by describing a project in which she is designing a method to increase the viability of drought-tolerant grass seeds for use in Australia.

Students were engaged, asking many questions about the work and funding.
Soroptimist International of Helena members presented each participant with a satchel. It is hoped that the shared enthusiasm on the day resulted in some of the girls enrolling in STEM projects at the school.


SI Bangsar Health ProjectSI Bangsar, Malaysia - Health Camp Keep Healthy and Happy Carnival at Orang Asli Settlement Kampung Kuala Masai, Johor.
This project began with a partnership between SI Bangsar, the Regency Hospital and Dr Maria Fernandez of SI Johor Bahru and the recognition of local underprivileged communities that would benefit from access to medical services and education.

Three communities were identified as a focus. These communities included low-income families living in low-cost housing areas, where incomes are small and women within the communities are lacking in education and skills.

A health camp was organised to provide education on healthy lifestyles, family planning, nutrition and making better future decisions with the help of medical staff from the Regency Hospital and final year Medical Students from Newcastle University. 100 residents from one of the identified communities participated in the programme and were offered blood and body mass index tests, a medical examination, nutrition advice, health and hygiene advice and family planning advice and discussions.

The project also opened the doors for future projects including follow up health checks and a literacy programme as the local women expressed interest in learning English and were keen to bring their children along.


SI Phnom Penh solar lampsSI Phnom Penh, Cambodia - Solar Lamps. Environmental Project to distribute Solar Lamps. SI Phnom Penh Club visited a remote area school to distribute study materials and solar lamps.
50 solar lamps and study materials were distributed to 60 students to assist them with their homework at night time. Other SISWP Clubs that partnered with SI Phnom Penh to complete this project were, SI Karratha, SI Hellena, Norton University, Ms. Pheara, and Ms. Veasna who also contribute to this amazing mission to improve the lives of women and girls in Cambodia.