European Parliament supports new International Day of the Girl
Summary of story from New Europe, December 15, 2011
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have signed a written declaration in support of an International Day of the Girl.
The declaration was submitted by the Vice Chairwoman of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee, Edite Estrela, together with fellow MEPs Véronique Mathieu, Jean Lambert, Katerina Neved’alová and Roberta Angelilli.
This declaration of support from the European Parliament, signed by 393 MEPs, sends a strong message to leaders ahead of the United Nations’ vote on the initiative next week.
The European Parliamentary Forum (EFP), Plan International and the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) worked to harness the support of a majority of MEPs for an International Day of the Girl.
The purpose of the initiative would be to draw attention to the issues facing girls and young women around the world and advocate their rights.
Members from all European Union Member States and across political groups signed the declaration.
This strong support from the European Union will improve the chances of the initiative being approved by the United Nations’ General Assembly in their meeting on 19 December.
“An International Day for the Girl will create a foundation for awareness in the EU and beyond to ensure that girls get the investment and recognition they deserve as citizens and as powerful agents of change within their own families, communities and nations”, Edite Estrela said.
Research has shown that investing in girls and young women has a profound impact on reducing poverty for both individual families and whole communities.
There is also a proven link between better infant and child health and increased schooling of mothers.
The Secretary for the European Parliamentary Forum, Neil Datta, said: “One of the best investments we can make is in educating girls to realise their full potential and thus contribute to increase economic growth, agriculture development and reduce hunger and poverty. An International Day of the Girl will help us do so.”