This year's celebration of the International Day of the Girl demands a continued innovative approach to building connection through digital spaces while emphasizing inclusion of voices often left out of these digital spaces. The Working Group on Girls, UNICEF, UN Women, and UNFPA seek to put girls at the forefront to share their experiences, to listen to a diversity of girls to hear what they need, and to partner with them and key stakeholders in highlighting sustainable and innovative solutions to issues that they face.
In our consultations with girls, they have emphasized "the importance of digital literacy, reliable electricity, devices, and the internet, and how they can impact the way girls interact, educate themselves, and participate in political discourse," and that "closing the digital gender divide and ensuring access to the internet is crucial." Given the lack of research and data on the gender digital divide for girls (UNICEF Review), providing this space to hear from girls directly is critical to understand how to address the issue.
Thus, this year, in conjunction with UNICEF's IDG 2021 Theme "Digital Generation, Our Generation," on this 9th annual marking of IDG, the WGG's theme for the Girls Speak Out is: "Closing the Digital Divide to Accelerate Opportunity."