Stand up for the rights of girls around the world
2017-10-15 09:05:48 -

On 11 October last, the world marked the International Day of the Girl. Observed since 2012, the day seeks to highlight and tackle the needs and challenges that girls face around the world, as well as promote empowerment and the realisation of their rights as humans.


The United Nations flagged this year’s celebration as the start of a year-long effort to push for global awareness and action to “the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during and after crises.”


The UN initiative EmPower Girls also highlights that “the world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity – and the millions of girls in emergencies are no exception.”


Specifically, in terms of education, a basic human right, the world has failed to provide access to the girl child. Recent UN figures indicate “almost zero progress” made in the last 10 years in dealing with the lack of school places in world’s top poorest nations.


In a ranking of 10 conflict zones regarded as the toughest places in the world for girls to go to school, the international NGO One said the majority of children without school places were female.


With the exception of a number of countries including Syria, which the NGO could not rate due to lack of reliable data, all apart from Afghanistan are in Africa. It’s an incredible shame that nearly 75 percent of girls are not able to attend primary school in South Sudan, while only one percent of girls complete secondary school in Burkina Faso.


Metro Éireann believes, as highlighted by Unesco director-general Irina Bokova, that “no society will flourish and no peace agreement will be lasting without empowering girls in peace-building and reconstruction. It is time to put this imperative at the heart of all of our efforts in addressing fragility, conflict, and violence."



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