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On 11 October 2012, the world celebrated the first-ever International Day of the Girl Child. The day was embraced globally as a moment to celebrate the girl child and to call for greater action to protect her rights, dignity and enable her to fulfil her potential.
As a principal barrier to the development of girls and their wider communities, organisations around the world emphasised that it is high time to tackle child marriage. The United Nations chose to mark the occasion by focusing on the issue of child marriage, led by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's call for all of us "to do our part to let girls be girls, not brides".
Girls Not Brides members around the world seized the opportunity afforded by Day of the Girl to call for urgent action on child marriage. In total, more than 50 of Girls Not Brides members carried out activities across 29 countries, and national partnerships to address child marriage were launched in Turkey and Tanzania.
Online too, Girls Not Brides supporters shared their conviction that we can and should build a world free of child marriage, tweeting with the hashtag #endchildmarriage and helping to ensure that #DayoftheGirl was one of the most popular social media topics globally on 11 October. Thank you for adding your voice!
The global scope of the activities underlined that child marriage is a truly universal problem and emphasised that there is a growing global movement determined to see an end to this practice.
Click on the map above to see our members' activities to highlight child marriage on International Day of the Girl. Double click on the map to zoom.
Click here to download a summary of global activities to highlight child marriage on International Day of the Girl.
In the time it has taken to read this article 19 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 3 seconds