October 11, every year, is celebrated as the International Day of the Girl Child. This initiative was launched in 2012 by the United Nations with a view to focus on issues that pertained to the education, equality, child marriage, access to services regarding sexual and physical health, puberty, gender-based issues and much more for the girl child.
On this day, the Human Rights Watch, an organisation that aims to expose the abuses experienced by human rights and bring justice, plans to end girl child marriage. They have tweeted the same from their handle stating, "Celebrate #DayOfTheGirl and stand with girls around the world fighting for their rights! - Fighting for equality - Fighting for education - Fighting to #EndChildMarriage" On the other hand, UNESCO has opted to promote education to girl child by tweeting, "On International #DayOfTheGirl and every day, UNESCO stands with her – the future leader, entrepreneur and scientist – to empower her and all girls to lead the life they dream of through education."
We have listed out some of the ways that would enable a better living for girl children.
Eradicate the taboo of girl child
It has been a patriarchal society for too long. Change only begins if we as individuals start to promote the idea of equality. Being or having a girl child is not a taboo. This idea should especially be promoted in the rural segments of the country. Considering how it is a requirement that awareness for the same is spread. The percentage of female foeticide (mostly illegal now) would drastically reduce and eventually, the need for having only a boy child would diminish. On the Day of the Girl Child, Women Share Real Stories of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination They Faced As Girls.
Allow Them to Make Their Own Choices
Give the girl child the freedom and liberty to make their own choices. Don't try to bog them down by taking away education, good living conditions, freedom to choose what they want to do with their lives. Freedom of choice, as per constitutional rights, does belong to everyone living in a society, then why hamper someone's rights?
Ensure their Safety at all Times
The world has become a scary place for a girl child and a woman. Every day, they are subjected to predatorial gaze, unwanted touch, wrongful behaviour by people around them. Be it, outsiders or family, a girl child is constantly under the radar of everyone involved or not involved in her life. Hence, having a support system at all times would only give her the courage and freedom to go ahead and achieve things she is capable of without having to give up things.
Provide Services to Enhance their Skill Set
Often incidents have happened when a girl child is not given the rightful education they deserve. With the backward mentality of various segments of the society, it has often been difficult to enable education for them. However, providing necessary skill set sessions would give them the opportunity to be ready for the world. Soft skills often come in handy for anyone. Camps, programmes, schemes, sessions and such events can be held where free services can be provided for girl children.
Mentor them because they have great potential Social work professionals can take up volunteering programmes by mentoring some of the girls from the economically and mentally backward segments of the society. Giving them the right mentoring and education through the basic means, giving them opportunities and much more, would have someone to look up to.
Promote Awareness that Supports Girl Child
Take up initiatives or ensure the CSR projects involve propagating the idea of supporting girl child. They need to know that they are wanted and will be given the right kind of treatment in the big world.
Start Organisations and Volunteer Programmes to Help Girls
Individuals who are involved in social work and welfare programmes should start organisations and volunteer programmes that would propagate the idea of girl child not being a taboo. These organisations can tie up with conglomerates to come up with projects that would better the living conditions of a girl child as well as provide them with the right education and opportunities that would enable them to rise above.
Let Them Know They Are Not Alone
Having a girl child is not a burden. Women have been excelling in every field you can possibly imagine. In fact, one of the Nobel prize winners this year in Physics is a woman scientist! That's the extent of women proving themselves to be equal with the men in the same field. With so many achievements women are capable of, it wouldn't be the end of the world to raise a girl child. In fact, a girl child would be a boon to all. That's an idea that needs to find it's placed in everyone's mind.
Celebrate Girlhood and Cherish Girls
Being a girl child is a cause of celebration and not a cumbersome casualty. Give the girl child every reason to celebrate herself, her birth instead of making her feel bad for why she was born.
From cases of harassment to discrimination, the challenges of growing up a girl are manifold and the world. Irrespective of whether she's someone's daughter, mother or sister, let's take these pledges to make the world a little better for our girls.