Girls of all ages met in Istanbul Wednesday for a conference honoring the U.N. International Day of the Girl Child, Oct. 11.
Observed by the United Nations for the past five years and also called the Day of the Girl and the International Day of the Girl, the day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face while promoting girls' empowerment and human rights, according to the U.N.'s website.
The theme of this year's conference was "Empowered Girls, Empowered Future: Girls as Social Change Agents in the 21st century," addressing issues of career and educational opportunities, and violence against girls.
Princess Nesrin El-Hashemi, an Iraqi doctor who developed a method of recognizing single gene disorders, made the opening speech. El-Hashemi has faced many difficulties as a female scientist, despite her royal title.
Turkish actor Murat Yıldırım and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and artist Tuba Büyüküstün also spoke.
The conference ended with a presentation by Turkish football player, coach and first-ever FIFA female referee Lale Orta, along with gymnast Ayşe Begüm Onbaşı.
The International Day of the Girl Conference was organized by the U.N. Women, UNICEF and UNFPA in partnership with Aydın Doğan Foundation.
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