International Day of the Girl – “Our time is now – our rights, our future”

October 11, 2022 11:04 am


My message to my fellow girls is that we should make education our first priority, and put more effort in education, to develop our country and make our parents and our community proud of us”, Natalia,  a student in Juba.

Today, on the 11th October 2022, Girls’ Education South Sudan (GESS) joins the rest of the world to celebrate the International Day of the Girl[1]! We’re standing with girls – today and every day. Because the power of girls will change the world!

Annually, October 11th is celebrated as International Day of the Girl, to highlight the outstanding contributions that girls can make in society if they are given a voice, and to highlight the barriers they face that can stop them from reaching their full potential. Some of the greatest barriers to education that girls in South Sudan face include early and forced marriage and early pregnancy.

This year, the world celebrates under the international theme: “Our time is now – our rights, our future”.


Learner, Juba

Considering this year’s theme, it is important to listen to the voices of the girls and give them the opportunity to be in school to realise their dreams.

Some learners in South Sudan shared messages, calling on stakeholders to support them…

Parents should be proud of their daughters and take them to school”, Mapuro, Primary 8 learner.

Emily, a Primary 8 learner added, “Parents should stop discriminating girls from boys. My message to the girls is that they should be proud of their gender”.

Mr. Francis, a Head Teacher of a secondary school in Juba joined the learners to request for support for girls: “My message to all parents is that we need to encourage our girls to go to school. They are the future leaders of tomorrow. We should not use our girls as a source of wealth”.

Mr Francis, Head Teacher in Juba.

In South Sudan it is estimated that seven girls per ten boys attend primary school. Meanwhile, only five girls per ten boys enrol in secondary education (World Bank). progress is being made to ensure that girls are given equal opportunity to attend school and complete their education. In January 2021, with support from education partners, including GESS, the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) issued a landmark circular allowing pregnant and nursing learners to continue with their education, in line with the General Education Act 2012.  (Link to circular).

GESS continues to ensure that girls who dropped out of school due to pregnancy return to school and continue learning.

GESS is an inclusive programme that is transforming the lives of a generation of children in South Sudan – especially girls and those in the margins of society – through education.

On the International Day of the Girl, we call upon all stakeholders to give girls a voice and an equal treatment for them to realise their dreams.

We continue to support all schoolgirls in South Sudan, including those with disabilities to ensure they enrol in school, stay in school, and complete their secondary education. Together we can achieve gender equality and help girls thrive!


[1] The name of the day was formally changed in 2022 to the ‘International Day of the Girl’, removing ‘Child’.

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