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Summary: The first Seminar of the Girl-Child in the Islamic Republic of Iran was held on the 23 and 24 January 1995 The seminar organised by the Bureau of Women's Affairs of the Presidential Office in collaboration with UNFPA and UNICEF, was held in the Tehran Center for Artistic Creations A four day exhibition was held along with this seminar, presenting the works of the girl children and the various activities of the different girl-child organisations This seminar which was opened by a message from the President of the Republic, Mr Hashemi Rafsanjani discussed and produced papers by various ministers, professionals and representatives of the girl child in different provinces and discussed the present situation of the girl child in Iran The article below looks at the position of girl children in to days world, with an emphasis that "Today's girls are tomorrow's mothers, therefore paying attention to them is paying attention to the future generations"   Worldwide efforts to protect and ensure children's rights began in 1959 when the United Nations General Assembly passed the Declaration on Children's Rights. Although the ten principles presented in the mentioned declaration could have outlined the primary rights of children, but over the past decades children's rights have been violated and abused in many corners of the world, so that new mechanisms had to be designed to ensure that children's rights are protected.It was in the pursuit of this goal that in 1989 the Convention of Children's Rights was approved by the UN General Assembly. With the establishment of the committee on Children's Rights and the appointment of special envoys whose assignment was the accurate examination of children's rights violations, the world's attention was directed towards issues concerning children. However, despite all the attention, the present situation of children in many parts of the world is deplorable. Everyday millions of children around the world are faced with poverty, hunger, illness, homelessness, war, violence, prostitution and exploitation and in the midst, girl children are the main victims. In many parts of the world, from the day a daughter is born, she is faced with gender discrimination which is apparent in various areas; such as nutrition, healthcare, education and even survival. UNICEF statistics show that in only three of the South Asian countries, one million children are killed annually because they are born female. Today even with the help of advanced technology to diagnose fetal genetic disorders, parents are sometimes given the opportunity to take gender discriminatory actions into their own hands and pregnant women abort their female fetus'. According to present studies, most Asian and African parents prefer to have sons. In many societies the societal pressure placed on women to give birth to sons is so great that if they are unsuccessful, this may lead to extreme reactions by their husbands, even resulting in divorce. Preference in having a son to a daughter is not exclusive to any particular culture or social class of society, in fact in many societies sons carry their family names, inheritance, family respect and property from one generation to the next. Economic difficulties also excaberate the situation; families with economic shortages, whether willingly or unwillingly, endeavour to invest their limited resources in the best possible way in order to obtain the highest profit. In many cultures, girl children are seen as temporary family members who need only to be looked after and fed until marriage, therefore the investments are made on the sons of the family. Indeed girls are mainly reared for marriage which is seen as the ultimate goal in their lives. After the first few years of their youth, they are appointed tasks to cook the food in the house, to clean and look after younger brothers and sisters, and in the villages they are given the tasks to milk the cows and mind the herds. In Third World countries,...
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