Discrimination against Girl Child and Women Empowerment
The status of the girl child is the key to achieving women’s equality and dignity which is, in many ways, a litmus test of the maturity of a society. Girls are to be the future mothers besides future policy makers and leaders. The importance of women hardly needs emphasis. Woman is the mother of race and is the liaison between the generations. Our culture attaches much importance to women, therefore, India has been symbolized as ‘MOTHER INDIA’. Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “To awaken the people it is the women who must bye awakened. Once she is on the move the family moves, the village moves, the nation moves.” But we see girls facing discrimination everywhere, in each corner of the world. As observed by Beijing Platform for Action in Paragraph 259: “The girl child is discriminated against boys from the earliest stages of life through her childhood and into adulthood. In some areas of the world, men outnumber women by 5 in every 100. The reasons for this discrepancy include harmful attitudes and practices, such as female genital mutilation, son preference …….. early marriage … violence against women, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, discrimination against girls in food allocation and other practices related to health and well-being.” In this connection, some vital statistics cited by the United Nations may also be added: By age 18, girls have received an average of 4.4 years less education than boys. Of the more than 110 million children not in school, approximately 60 per cent are girls. Of the more than 130 million primary - school-age children world-wide who are not enrolled in school, nearly 60 per cent are girls. In some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls have HIV rates upto five times as high as adolescent boys. Pregnancies and childbirth related health problems take the lives of nearly 1,46,000 teenage girls each year. In Sub-Saharan Africa, a woman...
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