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Empowering Girls. Changing the World
International Day of the Girl Child promotes the rights of girls around the world. Commemorated every year on 11th October, it aims to highlight the realities of life as a girl across the globe and the challenges they face with regards to education, healthcare, child marriage and equal opportunity.
While not every girl in the world will face all of these challenges, but almost every girl will encounter at least one of them, which is why Day of the Girl is so important.
Girls between 5 and 14 years old spend 40 per cent more time, or 160 million more hours a day, on unpaid household chores and collecting water and firewood compared to boys their age, according to a report released by UNICEF this year.
«The overburden of unpaid household work begins in early childhood and intensifies as girls reach adolescence," said UNICEF’s Principal Gender Advisor Anju Malhotra. «As a result, girls sacrifice important opportunities to learn, grow, and just enjoy their childhood. This unequal distribution of labour among children also perpetuates gender stereotypes and the
The report notes that girls’ work is less visible and often undervalued. Too often adult responsibilities such as caring for family members, including other children, are imposed on girls. Time spent on chores limits a girl’s time to play, socialize with friends, study and be a child.
An Ode to the Girl Child
My name is Girl Child. Oh, that awkward pause when my father got to know that he was going to have a girl. He loves me very much. But, I remember that pause.
My name is Girl Child and once I am born, my parents start planning the next baby, hoping that it would be a boy.
My name is Girl Child. Just when I learn to hold things, I am taught to hold the broom and wipe the floor.
My name is Girl Child and I can’t play as much as my brother because I have to help my mother in the kitchen.
My name is Girl Child and I can’t understand why some professions are not even considered for me.
My name is a Girl Child and I am often not expected to have high results at school because «I wouldn’t be a scientist anyway. It’s more important that I learn to do the household chores».
My name is a Girl Child and I take care of my younger brothers and sisters because I need to know how to take care of babies as a future mother.
My name is Girl Child and I am taught that my best virtue is to keep silent and never question.
My name is Girl Child and others approve how my hair and dress look.
My name is Girl Child and I would really love it if I could be called just a Child and at least have a fair chance for the same dreams as the Boy Child.
Let’s unite for empowering Girls. Without empowering them, it is impossible to make the world a better place.