News & events


International Day of the Girl Child Commemoration

11 October 2016
12:15 - 14:00

Are we leaving the Boys behind???

Date: 11 October 2016     
12:15  – 14:00 
Venue: VCRs in Pretoria, Durban and Port Elizabeth

Ms Shirin Motala
Research Manager, EPD, HSRC

Mr Mfanozelwe Shozi,
Chairperson of the Commission on Gender Equality
Mrs Joan van Niekerk
President International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Ms Kevashinee Pillay
Board Member of Children’s Rights Centre and Child Rights Advocate.

Presentation available for download below:

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize the rights of the girl child. The initiative began as a project of Plan International, Because I Am a Girl campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of nurturing girls globally and which recognises the specific gender inequalities faced by girl children. This inequality includes areas such as right to education/access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and child marriages.

In 2016 the theme for this year’s commemoration is a focus on Adolescent Girls. Over the last 15 years, the global community has made significant progress in improving the lives of girls during early childhood. In 2015, girls in the first decade of life are more likely to enrol in primary school, receive key vaccinations, and are less likely to suffer from health and nutrition problems than were previous generations. However the MDG 2015 close out report for South Africa noted that we had a long way to go before SA could achieve its gender equity objectives. Girls remain extremely vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, sexual violence and to being excluded from economic opportunities.

Five years into this campaign, questions are being raised about whether a focus exclusively on the girl child is justified and warranted.  Are we forgetting about the boy child?  Boys in SA are contributors to the high pregnancy rates and the HIV prevalence rates in SA. They are among the most vulnerable in respect of mortality and are disproportionately represented among those in conflict with the law and in prison populations.
The seminar will explore these issues through inputs and discussions

The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of DST.

Kindly RSVP by 10 October 2016

Durban :  The Atrium, 5th Floor, 430 Peter Mokaba Ridge, Berea, 4001 , Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or , or Hlengiwe Zulu at e-mail

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: