News and opinions
11 October 2012
The first International Day of the Girl Child was celebrated, an event designated by the UN as a result of an international campaign by the charity Plan Because I Am a Girl. To mark this occasion the Santiago Bernbéu was lit up in pink. Michael Essien, who is this project’s ambassador, was responsible for pressing the button to turn on the lights on the stadium’s main façade. “I am very proud and happy to form part of this initiative” said the midfielder in a ceremony where a choir of 40 girls from the Alhambra school sang about the rights of girls.
There are 75 million girls in the world who do not attend school, 10 million who are forced to marry while still children and 150 million who are victims of physical and sexual abuse. The Santiago Bernabéu stadium, representing Spain, joined events around the world to mark the International Day of the Girl Child. The Empire State Building in New York, the pyramids in Egypt, the Niagara Falls, the Little Siren in Copenhagen, Toronto’s CN Tower, Berlin’s Sony Centre, the Qutub Minar and Purana Qila in India, and the London Eye have also been illuminated in pink.
“Turning the Santiago Bernabeu and other monuments around the world pink is much more than a symbolic act. It is the best way of promoting the rights of girls. Now millions of people know that supporting the education of girls is necessary and intelligent” said Concha López, the director general of Plan International in Spain.