United Nation requested and dedicated 11th October as International Day of The Girl Child. It was decided by UN General Assembly on 19th December, 2011 through a resolution. This is to acknowledge and recognize girls right globally. The girls do face very unique challenges worldwide and it is mostly negative and devoid of their right to live and enjoy.
Today 11th October, 2016 a 14 year old girl Hadiqa Basheer from Swat, Pakistan is nominated as an Ambassador for Asia and she will raise voice and run campaign against early childhood marriage of girls.
As per reports it is estimated two out of three (2/3) illiterate people on our planet are female. These women or girl having no education are expose and open to be exploited. Beside it they are dependent on others especially male to survive. This prevailing situation is propagating the vicious cycle of poverty and promoting inequality in society.
.In our region that is SARRC countries where lies Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Maldives, these comprise of more than 30% of world population. The fact here has been recognized worldwide the girls are not provided their right and resource to live, especially those girls who belong from poor family.
In these families the boys mostly enjoy the privilege, preference and priority over the girls. Boys and male are considered as bread winner for the family whereas mostly it is found the case is reserve especially among the poor families.
In our region more than 60% population are living below the recommended poverty line and living on less than US$ 2 per day. Half the world population that is approximately 3.4 Billion lives and survive on less than $2.50 a day.
Nearly about one billion people cannot read or write
750 million adult population around the globe is illiterate, which is approximately 12% of population in this developed era. Out of these 2/3 (two third) are women. Now what to talk of girls who are not attending school globally, especially in the continent of Asia, Africa and South America where mostly poor people live
If we consider children who are not attending primary school than the ratio is 66% girls are not at all enrolled in school and not going to primary school.
If prevailing condition improves, girls are registered in school, they were provided basic education and their knowledge level increases after primary level education. They will contribute positively in the society. As per guestimate due to education, the girl marriage ratio attaining age of 15 year will drop down by 18-20% due to primary education.
After attaining this land mark we can calculate positive impact it will have in society, which will be in terms of productivity, delay in first pregnancy and they plan their first baby. Secondly better and effective family planning (spacing) can be done for having children in Suture
The theme of this year is “Girls’ Progress = Goal progress”. Girls will play vital role in attaining Sustainable Development Goals set by us in Denmark recently.
This can be achieve by focusing on reducing gender inequality and allowing greater liberty / space to the girls who are becoming women from girl.
What is the Issue?
One of the leading issue which create or block the way of girls’ progress is their early marriage, which means with in their teen age. Data in this regard is very alarming, approximately 33 to 35% girls in developing countries such as SARRC countries, Africa and South America get married before they attain the age of 18 years.
One of the exception country is China who has big population and leading country is in mid path of developing country and likely to reach status developed country in near future. Currently China is the second largest economy after USA they have surpass Japan Germany, UK and France. But still their GDP ratio as reported by IMF is ranked at 84th number globally it is US$ 14460.
Girls who become bride before the age 18 are more likely prone to the violence both in terms of sexual and physical assaults. Secondly they have babies at the early age for which they are physically and emotionally not prepare.
It has been observed if violence in girls start at an early or teenage, will likely to continue in their womanhood, in later stage of life and likely hood this will pass in the coming generation. These girl or women consider it as part of life or norm in their life.
The theme of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is Transforming our world. To achieve the set target and achievable goal set by Sustainable Development Goal by 2030.
What measures need to be taken care?
We all need to seriously address the issue of child hood marriages especially of girls through legislation and also make sure to fully enforce the law. This also can be by done educating the teenage girls and elder of both gender to delay the marriage till the girl at least reaches age of 18 years.
The agenda set for achieving Sustainable Development Goal by 2030 must be fully address the above mentioned issue. It is to be fully enforced by individual countries otherwise its fate will be the same as of Millennium Develop Goal (MDG) in which most of the under develop and develop country missed their set targets in MDG.