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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 11th is the International Day of the Girl Child!

Today at the UN -
 
“The Girl Child: Protection from Harmful Practices, Violence, Exploitation and Abuse” 

The International Day of the Girl Child is one of the latest UN observances having just been approved by General Assembly resolution 66/170 on 14 November 2011. Beginning this year, October 11 will be the day set aside for advocacy and action by and for girls, as the United Nations signals its global commitment to end gender stereotypes, discrimination, violence and economic disparities that disproportionately affect girls across the globe.  Even though the international community has made measurable progress in recent years with regard to gender equality, there is still a long way to go to create gender justice. Girls still lag behind in education and access to health, and many are exposed to domestic violence, commercial sexual exploitation and harmful traditional practices, including early marriage, premature pregnancy, female genital mutilation and infanticide.
As a result for the inaugural day, UN agencies have come together to focus on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life.  As is now well known, girls with low levels of schooling are more likely to be married early, and child marriage has been shown to virtually end a girl’s education. Girls with secondary schooling however, are up to six times less likely to marry as children, therefore making education one of the best strategies for protecting girls.
It is therefore imperative that Governments in partnership with civil society and NGOs take urgent action to end the harmful practice of early child marriage by raising awareness of the problem, and most importantly, ensuring that girls have access to good quality primary and secondary education in order to eliminate gender gaps in schools

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