Sunday 11 October is International Day of the Girl Child. Girls around the world are still being treated far less favourably and differently than boys. In fact, there are deliberately fewer girls being born, because the parents favour a boy. Due to selective abortion and infanticide, there is currently a shortage of more than 140 million women, according to the UN Population Fund
Girls attend school less often and for shorter periods of time than boys, and up to 4 million girls (and women) are at risk of genital mutilation every year. The figures for child marriages are also alarmingly high: 12 million girls under the age of 18 are married off every year and, due to the economic downturn caused by corona, 2,5 million extra child brides are feared for in the coming 5 years.
Every year, Terre des Hommes Italy presents a comprehensive report on the situation of girls worldwide, especially in honour of the Day of the Girl Child. How many girls are mutilated, married off and have to deal with (sexual) violence. In addition, the report examines the situation of girls in Italy, but also, for example, in the USA.
Read the report here.
Terre des Hommes places protection of girls' rights worldwide at the core of its interventions (as the report clearly shows). See below more examples of us working with girls and youth:
Madhuri, Pushpa, Lavanya and Manoranjini, four energetic young leaders of Girls Advocacy Alliance from Ongole City, India pledged to raise awareness on the empowerment of girl children. They promised themselves to implement the National Girl Child Day´s theme of “Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow” in true spirit in their district.
Sonia (17) from Uganda is a passionate child rights advocate with a zeal to make change in her circles of influence. She focuses on stopping child trafficking and unsafe migration; and the importance of education, especially for the girl child. Issues that she can relate to from her own experience, since she herself was trafficked and exploited when she was only seven years old.
“My rights as a child, right to education, to be protected, and to be heard... are my weapon because it taught me what and who I am today.”
Read the story of social worker Elvira Sotto from the Philippines here