Vinod C Dixit
11th October is observed every year as the International Day of the Girl Child. We all know that all over the world girls face unique challenges not only at home but also at schools, workplaces and in society. There are 1.1 billion girls today, a powerful constituency for shaping a sustainable world that’s better for everyone. It is very necessary for the girls to have safe and enabling environment. They should be aware of all their legal rights and the facts of life. There is also a need for improved public and private transportation for girls to get to and from schools and workplaces. No doubt, over the years, the world has made some progress in improving the lives of girls during early childhood; however, adolescent girls continue to face challenges because of under investment in their needs and concerns as they mature into adults.
They are brimming with talent and creativity. But their dreams and potential are often thwarted by discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities. Why the girls experience inequality in every aspect of our lives? We should not forget that a massive number of girls are out of schools, not receiving equal opportunities in athletics, being discouraged from reporting assaults, being forced to marry or work before attaining the legal age, and are being brainwashed to think that their physical appearance and sexual desirability co-relate with each other.
What is the essence of celebrating the Day of the Girl Child if her right to education, health, shelter, name, identity, and survival is not respected? Girls have the right to a safe, literate, and healthy life, not only during childhood, but also as they mature into womanhood. On this International Day of the Girl Child, let us stand with the global community to support girls’ progress everywhere. Let girls be girls. Let the Day enhance the meaningful contribution of the girls in decision-making processes through the active support of the parents and other community members. Let us look at the Girl Child who grows up in marginalized societies and developing countries.