Let us join hands together to create better communities so that this generation of girls can become a generation of trailblazers. Why the fuss about the girl child? Keep reading to know why.
Despite global achievements towards gender equality, girls continue to face barriers to full, equal participation both at home and in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to turn back much of the progress that’s been made.
In health; According to the World Health Organisation, W.H.O, each year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 are married and an additional 4 million girls are at risk of child marriage in the next two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Girls aged 15-19 years give birth to 12.8 million babies each year, contributing to maternal and child mortality and leading to long-term health problems like obstetric fistula.
It is estimated that 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM). Three million girls are at risk of undergoing the procedure every year. A practice often goes hand in hand with child marriage and contributes to a range of harmful health outcomes.
The gory statistics isn’t over yet.
In education; According to UNESCO, 130 million girls between the ages of 6 and 17 are out of school. 15 million primary school-aged girls will likely never enter a classroom in their lifetime. 11 million more girls might never return to school because of COVID-19.
It looks bleak but it doesn’t have to stay this way. We all should be concerned because apart from buried dreams these girls become unenlightened mothers, training kids who in most cases are limited by the environment they find themselves.
This cycle doesn’t have to continue.
Though there are many challenges ahead of us, International Day of the Girl reminds us to celebrate the successes and to listen for the voices of girls who are reimagining a better world – one where they are recognized, counted and invested in.
You can take action to change a life by doing one or more of the following;
Sponsor a girl:
When you sponsor a girl, you increase her opportunity to go to school, to have nutritious food, to have water that is safe and to have her rights respected and protected. As a result, more girls remain in school and out of child marriage or forced labour. And, because of our community-focused solutions, for every child you help, four more children benefit too.
Send a girl to school:
When girls are educated, their lives, the lives of their children, families, communities and countries improve. Invest in girls’ education. Provide essentials like uniforms, school fees, school supplies and more, and help girls rise above poverty.
Give a girl’s hygiene kit:
Menstruation can be a barrier between a girl and her education. When girls have access to feminine hygiene supplies and health training, they can stay in school, stay healthy, and break down the stigma and misinformation that can keep girls excluded from community.
Give to the women and girls in crisis fund
Girls who have been denied schooling, were abused or forced into early marriage or sexual exploitation face additional barriers to a free and full life. By providing education, job training, counselling and healthcare you can help them overcome these challenges.
In conclusion, Malala Yousafzai the Pakistani girl who survived a gunshot because she wanted education said this; We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave – to embrace the strength within themselves and realize their full potential.”
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.