Today is the International Day of the Girl Child, it is a day to think about girls around the world and what chances they have for a good life. Do they get an education? Do they have the right to marry when they want? Do they have the same rights as men in their country? The answer to these questions is mostly no, unless you lived somewhere like America, Australia or the United Kingdom. Unicef is working towards changing the life of girls worldwide.
According to Unicef, “girls are more likely than boys to:
- Be married at a young age, often before they reach 18
- Face sexual abuse and exploitation
- Miss out on school and be deprived of a quality education”
Just to give you an idea, the average age in Australia for women to marry is 28 years. There is a big difference to be forced to marry someone when you are under 18. I cannot imagine how scary that would be. Firstly you might not know this person and he is so much older than you. It would be a terrifying situation. The poor little girls that are in this situation.
I have two little girls of my own. They are only four, and I cannot think of not having them educated, forcing them to marry someone or hurting them just because of their sex. Your sex should not dictate if you get an education, it should not be part of the discussion. Boys are still preferred in some countries and girls are aborted or at the very worst not given the same treatment as the boys. Not adequate health care, no education, abuse, early marriage, and the list can continue I am sure.
According to The Hoopla article by Lucy Clark, “The UN estimates that every year 10 million girls around the world are forced into arranged marriages. Some of them are as young as eight and are forced to marry men four times their age.” This is just appalling that such young kids are married off. I think it is so wrong and disgusting.
Malala Yousafzai was a young girl in Pakistan. She was fighting for the right of girls to get an education. Tuesday this week she was shot in the head by the Taliban while on a school bus. This horrible crime as you can imagine has outraged Pakistan and there is a reward of $100,000 for the capture of the person that committed this crime. Malala has made news around the world as symbol for girls rights and bringing this to our attention; It is just such a shame that she had to get shot to get her message across. Why did they feel the need to severely wound an 14 year old girl. She was just wanting what everyone does, an education and a chance to better herself, for her and her family. Malala has survived her injury, and that is wonderful news that she will be o.k. Pity the Taliban has decided to end her life and that of her family as well. I hope and pray that Malala and her family will be o.k. and they find these terrible people that want to commit such awful crimes.
As we are nearing the end of 2012 it is such a sad state of affairs to have girls still considered second class citizens. In Australia we are very lucky. Women and girls get educated, however there is a lot of sexism, unequal pay, not enough care for kids that will allow mothers to return to work, and an unfair balance that the woman still does the majority or all of the household chores. Why is it that in this day and age we are still thinking that women don’t deserve the same as a man? Why can’t the thinking be changed, why can’t we all just be equal. Why can’t talent and passion dictate how well you do at something and of course skill. If you succeed and are gifted at something then you can dictate more money. This should not be due to you being male or female. It is just a wrong way to look at things. It should all be based on merit and what you can bring to the table.
There are many charities that help and highlight girls plights around the world. Many of these charities are making a real difference. As a mother of girls I want to see that this is not a conversation that I will be having with my kids when they are older, although I think it might still be, which is a another sad point.
Some places where you can help girls are:
- Unicef – It’s a girl thing
- Half the Sky Movement
- Things you can do to empower women
- CAREgifts – Send a girl to school
- CAREgifts – They are all wonderful and do so much good – Pick one and you will make a difference
Below is a direct quote from the Care.org.au website:
“Help 1 woman out of poverty and she’ll bring 4 others with her.
Women and girls can create lasting change if they have the opportunity to gain an education, access health services, generate an income, and take a lead in their community.
Educating girls has cascading benefits. Educated women are:
• less likely to die in childbirth
• more likely to have healthy babies
• more likely to send their children to school
• better able to protect their children from HIV, trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Put simply, educating women and girls provides the single highest return on investment in the developing world.”
Send in your comments and why not donate some money to the charities listed above. You can always continue the discussion on our twitter or facebook pages. Or why not visit the blog and comment there, www.mummytotwins.com