As the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child, today, 11 October, the United Nations Women has asked for more commitment towards investing in skills training and education for girls who are facing crises.
This year’s celebration will focus on the theme, “EmPOWER girls: Before, during and after conflict”. These girls are leaders who will use their skills that they develop to rebuild their communities, and create a better future for everyone.
The UN says every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking.
Adolescent girls in conflict zones they say are 90% more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, thereby compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.
According to statistics there are 1.1 billion girls in the world, and every one of them, the UN said, deserves equal opportunities for a better future. “They are a source of energy, power and creativity. They can drive change and help build a better future for all. Yet, most girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises are suffering even more,” said UNWomen.
“Across the world, empowered girls are raising their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts. They are working to end violence against women and girls, to recognize indigenous rights, and to build peaceful and cohesive communities.”
Displaced and vulnerable girls they say face higher risks of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as damage to their livelihoods. Research states that girls are 2-5 times more likely than boys to miss school during disasters and displaced girls are often married off as children in an effort to ensure their security.
By Zainab Joaque
Wednesday October 11, 2017.