In this special episode dedicated to the International Day of the Girl Child, Nagasimha Rao from the Child Rights Trust talks about the significance of the day.
Every year, UNESCO and WHO dedicate great importance to this day. They select a theme for each year, with the 2019 theme being – ‘Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable’.
Girl children continue to face stifling discrimination all over the world – in some cultures, even from the time they are in the mother’s womb. Many girl children are killed while they are still foetuses, or if they manage to survive and be born, then they are killed in their infancy. The girls who are lucky to have survived foeticide and infanticide face discrimination at each and every step of their lives. Without discussions about and creating awareness on the girl child’s rights, there can be no change in the world.
One of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 – the fifth goal, to be exact – is committed to achieving “gender equality” and empowering “all women and girls”. But, a lot of issues related to girl children remain to be resolved. “We need to provide them with equal chances and importance at every step. Their intellectual development is not given importance, instead, they are treated as future homemakers and family caretakers. As soon as she grows older, a special shield is created around her and she is treated differently. Many girl children stop attending school after they hit puberty. Girl children living with disabilities face many more challenges. What we need are awareness and empowerment.”