The Girl Child

The girl child. Why is she unique?

In this year’s United Nations’ resolution on the Girl Child, the General Assembly, and thus, the international community has recognized, noted, and expressed their deep concern on issues of discrimination of the girl child.

There are many issues at stake. Girls are more likely to be discriminated and abused. Girls are more likely to be forced into child marriage, leading to a greater risk of an early pregnancy and maternal death. Further, girls are less likely to attend school, complete an education, and the list continues.

Girls’ Globe would like to highlight the existence of complete discrimination against girls. In some parts of the world girls are unwanted, undesired and seen as unnecessary. The effect is large-scale abortion of female fetuses and a systematic murder of female infants.

Noting with concern that in some parts of the world, men outnumber women as
a result, in part, of harmful attitudes and practices, such as female genital
mutilation, son preference, which results in female infanticide and prenatal sex
selection…”

Girls’ Globe would not only like us to note with concern, but would like all readers to take action. Take action to raise awareness, encourage grassroots movements and influence policy-makers to take a stand against this “gendercide”.

  1. RAISE AWARENESS. In the coming year, Shadowline Films will be releasing the documentary film, “It’s a girl!” They say these are “the three deadliest words in the world”. Girls’ Globe would like to thank Shadowline Films for raising awareness on this issue. See the trailer here:
  2. ENCOURAGE GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS: Design for Change is a movement encouraging children to shape the society they would like to live in, and to make a change that benefit others. One of the winners of India’s Design for Change school challenge was created by school girls who had decided to take a stand against the lack of girls in their village. See their introduction here:
    We would like to thank Design for Change for encouraging children to take action. It is fantastic to see.

Awareness and encouragement can change social norms, leading to a change in society. A society were the girl child is wanted, desired and far more than necessary! These are just two examples of what is being done to change the situation for the girl child. We will keep you posted on this issue. Let’s give the girl child the attention she deserves.

And the international community continues:

“Urges all States to enact and enforce legislation to protect girls from all
forms of violence and exploitation, including female infanticide and prenatal sex
selection, female genital mutilation, rape, domestic violence, incest, sexual abuse,
sexual exploitation, child prostitution and child pornography, trafficking and forced
migration, forced labour, and forced marriage, as well as marriage under legal age, and to develop age-appropriate safe, confidential and disability-accessible
programmes and medical, social and psychological support services to assist girls
who are subjected to violence and discrimination…”

Let’s keep our leaders accountable and work together towards a globe free from all forms of discrimination of the girl child.

Do you have other movements you would like to share with us? Or do you have knowledge of other organizations working to raise awareness on discrimination of the girl child? Please post links in the comments field below.

More on the Girl Effect


Mobilizing the girl effect may seem easy.

  1. Give girls education
  2. Societies will prosper.

However, it may not be so simple. There are several factors that play a part in shaping the health and well-being of girls and women. Although a girl is given a chance, she may meet a lot of resistance.

I was playing with some data at genderinfo.org, the portal for the United Nations’ gender data. Looking at India, one can see that the literacy rate for girls aged 15-24 is quite high, 77 %. The expected years of schooling for girls in India is 13 years, so it is expected that most girls in India should at least finish high school. This, one may also think is quite high. However, looking at the percent of women aged 20-24 that were married or in union before the age of 18, is close to 50 %. Thus, close to half of these girls were married as children. The proportion of girls aged 15-19 that have already given birth is 12 %, which is also a very high number. (Keep in mind that India is a huge and diverse country, so these statistics may vary depending on region, city, village, etc.)

This gives me mixed feelings. Although this is not even close to a comprehensive study, it seems like India is investing in education for girls, but the amount of girls being married off as children is still high. Child marriage is a violation of a girl’s human rights. So, there must be other factors playing a part as well.

What do you think plays a part in shaping the situation of girls, besides education? Please share your ideas in the comment field below!

Sources: video is taken from girleffect.org, and the data can be found at genderinfo.org.