UN Special Days

Mark Your Calendar

January

24 January

International Day of Education (A/RES/73/25)  

https://www.un.org/en/observances/education-day

The right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all.

February

6 February

International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation  (A/RES/67/146)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/female-genital-mutilation-day

In 2020 alone, there are 4.1 million girls around the world who are at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation.

11 February

International Day of Women and Girls in Science (A/RES/70/212)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/women-and-girls-in-science-day/

To rise to the challenges of the 21st century, we need to harness our full potential. That requires dismantling gender stereotypes. On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let’s pledge to end the gender imbalance in science.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

e genital mutilation.

20 February

World Day of Social Justice   (A/RES/62/10)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/social-justice-day

Social justice is an underlying principle for peaceful and prosperous coexistence within and among nations. We uphold the principles of social justice when we promote gender equality or the rights of indigenous peoples and migrants. We advance social justice when we remove barriers that people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, or disability.

March

1 March

Zero Discrimination Day  [UNAIDS]

https://www.unaids.org/en/zero-discrimination-day

On Zero Discrimination Day this year, UNAIDS is challenging the discrimination faced by women and girls in all their diversity in order to raise awareness and mobilize action to promote equality and empowerment for women and girls.

8 March

International Women’s Day

https://www.un.org/en/observances/womens-day

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.

The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality.

22 March

World Water Day  (A/RES/47/193)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/water-day

Today, 1 in 3 people live without safe drinking water.

April

22 April

International Mother Earth Day

https://www.un.org/en/observances/un-day

Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records, and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem.

23 April

(Fourth Thursday of April)

International Girls in ICT Day [ITU]

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Digital-Inclusion/Women-and-Girls/Girls-in-ICT-Portal/Pages/Portal.aspx

International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States in Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Rev. Busan, 2014) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider studies and careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies. Resolution 70 calls for all ITU members to celebrate and commemorate International Girls in ICT Day on the fourth Thursday of April every year.

May

23 May

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula  (A/RES/67/147)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-fistula-day

The UN Population Fund and its partners launched the global Campaign to End Fistula, which is now active in more than 55 countries, working to prevent and treat fistula and to rehabilitate and empower fistula survivors. So far UNFPA has supported more than 113,000 surgical repairs for women and girls since 2013, and partner agencies have supported thousands more

June

12 June

World Day Against Child Labour

https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-day-against-child-labour

152 million children between the ages of 5-17 were in child labour, almost half them, 73 million, in hazardous child labour.

July

30 July

World Day against Trafficking in Persons  (A/RES/68/192)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/end-human-trafficking-day

Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons(Trafficking in Persons Protocol).

August

22 August

International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief (A/RES/73/296)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/religious-based-violence-victims-day

There are continuing acts of intolerance and violence based on religion or belief against individuals, including against persons belonging to religious communities and religious minorities around the world, and the number and intensity of such incidents, which are often of a criminal nature and may have international characteristics, are increasing.

September

18 September

International Equal Pay Day (A/RES/74/142) 

https://www.un.org/en/observances/equal-pay-day

Women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn for work of equal value – with an even wider wage gap for women with children.

October

2 October

International Day of Non-Violence  (A/RES/61/271)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/non-violence-day

According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271of 15 June 2007, which established the commemoration, the International Day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”. The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

11 October

International Day of the Girl Child  (A/RES/66/170)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/girl-child-day

In 2020, we commemorate 25 years since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the global agenda for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls, everywhere. Generation Equality was also launched in early 2020 as a multi-year, multi-partner campaign and movement for bold action on gender equality. A clear narrative and actions related to the needs and opportunities of adolescent girls and their solutions are central to the Generation Equality mission.

15 October

International Day of Rural Women  (A/RES/62/136)

http://www.un.org/en/events/ruralwomenday/

If women in rural areas had the same access to agricultural assets, education, and markets as men, agricultural production could be increased, and the number of hungry people reduced by 100-150 million.

24 October

United Nations Day  (A/RES/168 (II); A/RES/2782 (XXVI))

https://www.un.org/en/observances/un-day

UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.

November

25 November

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women  (A/RES/54/134)

(Start of the UN 16 days of activism)

http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent, and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.

In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual, and psychological forms, encompassing:

  • intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
  • sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber-harassment);
  • human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
  • female genital mutilation; and
  • child marriage.

To further clarify, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”

December

10 December

Human Rights Day  (A/RES/423 (V))

(End of the UN 16 days of activism)

https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR): a milestone document proclaiming the inalienable rights which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Available in more than 500 languages, it is the most translated document in the world.