International Day of Girl celebrated worldwide today
Oct 11, Oslo: The International Day of the Girl is marked each year on October 11 to recognise the hardships faced by girls and women around the world and to to get women to stand up for their fellow women for their basic human rights.
This year the day is being celebrated under the theme ‘EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict’, in an effort to help women and girls that face disadvantages and discrimination on a daily basis, not only in places where there is already peace but also in areas of conflict, and during humanitarian emergencies. As gender-based violence increases in such situations and girls are more likely to be subjected to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking.
“This year, on the International Day of the Girl Child, we are focused on how to ‘EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises’. Throughout 2017 we have seen growing conflict, instability and inequality, with 128.6 million people this year expected to need humanitarian assistance due to security threats, climate change and poverty. More than three-quarters of those who have become refugees or who are displaced from their homes, are women and children. Among these, women and girls are among the most vulnerable in times of crisis,” The UN Women said in a statement.
According to UNICEF, girls in conflict zones are 90% more likely to be out of school, compared to girls in conflict-free countries, which compromises their future and potential. The day isn’t just about raising awareness it is also about collecting data about girls who have slipped through the cracks, so we can have a better idea about how they live and what they need.
Child marriage is one of the most pressing issues facing the girl worldwide as an estimated one in three girls are married before they are 18, one in seven before they turn 15. There are 700 million women alive today who were married before 18 to men much older than themselves. Female genital mutilation is another problem that UNICEF estimates has affected 130 million girls worldwide. Sexual assault is another issue tackled by International Day of the Girl as up to 50% of all sexual assaults target girls under 16-years-old.
The Women’s organization also stated they are also tapping into the possibilities of mobile technology, developing a Virtual Skills School, so that women and girls who have dropped out of school due to early marriage, childbearing or traditional practices, who are living with a disability, or who are displaced from their homes and in refugee camps, have access to second-chance learning.
“On the International Day of the Girl Child, let us commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises. Far from being passive recipients of assistance, these girls are leaders who will use the skills that they develop today to rebuild their communities, and create a better future for all of us.”
The Oslo Times International News Network