UN: Empower girls to build better future

  • int’l day of the girl child
- Rastriya Samachar Samiti, Kathmandu

Oct 12, 2017-The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has underscored the need of supporting the power of girls before, during and after crises to build better futures for themselves and their communities. 

In a statement on the occasion of the International Day of the Girl Child on Wednesday, UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanemfor said, lack of access to education and fewer opportunities often force girls to take jobs that pay less and involve more risk.  “In addition to the social forces against them, girls continue to face high levels of gender-based violence, unwanted pregnancies, and unsafe deliveries. One in four girls will be married before she is 18, and one in five adolescent girls aged 15-19 will give birth,” said the UNFPA executive director in the statement.

In Nepal, 41 percent of girls are married before the age of 18, according to the UNFPA Nepal. “This calls for investments in girls, ensuring their access to education and health services, developing their social and economic assets and making certain that they can postpone their marriage until they are ready.” 

“And because of entrenched gender inequalities, disasters and conflict can make a bad situation even worse for girls. They and their families, struggling to survive, are left with few choices, leaving girls even more vulnerable to child marriage, sexual- and gender-based violence. They are faced with the cruel reality of heightened risks to their sexual and reproductive health and diminished access to critical health care.”

Despite these challenges, she said, many girls manage to play a critical role in their homes and communities, even in crises. “They are often the first responders who care for their families and establish networks that produce the social capital and resilience communities need to survive. Protecting and promoting their rights, health, and well-being is an essential element of crisis preparedness, effective response and recovery.” 

Published: 12-10-2017 07:44

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