International Day of the Girl

DL2KKpMUQAAi-ku

The world observes International Day Of The Girl today on October 11. International Day of the Girl Child or Day of the Girl is an annual event that highlights issues concerning the gender inequality facing young girls. This year’s theme is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.” The focus is on addressing the needs and challenges that girls face and to ensure that we all promote girls’ empowerment.

Designated by the UN, October 11 is the day that reminds us all to invest in adolescent girls. A united effort in this direction will create a formidable ripple effect to create a better world by 2030. That is the idea. On this International Day of the Girl, all countries join in to highlight the unique challenges and potential of adolescent girls. With nearly 600 million girls aged 10 to 19 in the world today, one can only imagine the limitless individual potential they have to offer.

UN Women rightly feels that focus on girls is disappearing from public awareness and the international development agenda. It is a sad fact that girls all over the world face inequity issues, protection issues, and inability to complete secondary education. Adolescent girls everywhere are uniquely impacted and this ought to be corrected by offering benefits by targeted investments and programmes that address their distinct needs.

There are 1.1 billion girls in the world, and every one of them deserves equal opportunities for a better future. They are a source of energy, power and creativity. They can drive change and help build a better future for all. Yet, most girls face disadvantage and discrimination on a daily basis, and those living through crises suffer even more. Therefore this year pays special attention to the theme – “Empower girls: Before, during and after conflict”.

Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking. Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 per cent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.

Throughout 2017 we have seen growing conflict, instability and inequality, with 128.6 million people this year expected to need humanitarian assistance due to security threats, climate change and poverty. More than three-quarters of those who have become refugees or who are displaced from their homes are women and children. Among these, women and girls are among the most vulnerable in times of crisis.

Displaced and vulnerable women and girls face higher risks of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as damage to their livelihoods; girls are 2.5 times more likely than boys to miss school during disasters; and displaced girls are often married off as children in an effort to ensure their security. Across the world, empowered girls are raising their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts. They are working to end violence against women and girls, to recognize indigenous rights, and to build peaceful and cohesive communities.

Let this day be a pledge to ensure that girls are offered positive options that allow them to grow and develop social and economic skills. Let ngo’s and civil society organizations boost civic engagement and leadership for girls by advocating their social participation and resurgence. Let nations turn adverse situations into opportunities of empowerment for girls and young women.

On this International Day of the Girl Child let us all commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women. We are well aware of the plight of young girls in our own country. Let us not be passive any more but address the issues affecting the girl child and help to rebuild our communities to create a better future for all of us.

Crimes Against Women – Reality Check

Crimes Against Women

           Crimes Against Women

Not a day goes by that newspapers and TV reports do not mention multiple instances of crimes against women, the more gory of them having to do with rape. Despite the hullaballoo of the past nearly two years in the wake of the infamous Nirbhaya case, rapes continue to be reported from all parts of the country. It comes as no surprise now, even when such instances occur in your own neighborhood.

For all the efforts towards drawing attention to the mitigation of these horrific acts, the exact opposite seems to be happening. What is even more barbaric is that they are happening to children and infants. Who are these men who commit such dastardly acts and what kind of minds operate to target infants, daughters and neighboring children. Even schools are rife grounds for such heinous crimes.

All talk of improving the status of women appears to be a huge humbug when daily we encounter such instances. Add to this the ‘experts’ obtuse comments that have become de rigueur. They come as little surprise in a land where male supremacy still pervades predominantly. Despite the strident hue and cry after the horrendous Delhi rape case, women – including infants and little girls continue to be subject to vicious crimes.

As a society we too have become, more or less, immune to the malaise. We simply bypass the text lines carrying these snippets in the newspapers. Perhaps they do not bother us anymore. Conversely there is another type that vicariously takes in the dramatized versions that are ‘gori-fied’ by news channels as a form of entertainment! In fact if truth be told several news channels appear to be no more than entertainment shows.

The following crimes against women (Source National Crimes Record Bureau) continue unabated in our country. This information may well serve as a reminder of the status of our female populations.
• Female feticide — increased by 40%.
• Rape — 16,373 women ‘reported’ raped during the year. The truth is there are no figures on unreported numbers of women raped every day. It has been ascertained that 45 women are raped daily in our country, 1 woman raped every 32 minutes. There has been an unprecedented increase in the incidents of rapes from earlier years.
• Incest — 2.25% of total rape cases turn out to be cases of incest.
• Sexual Harassment — 44,098 incidents of sexual harassment reported. 121 women sexually harassed every day. 1 woman sexually harassed every 12 minutes. An increase of 20.6% is seen in incidents of sexual harassment.
• Importation of Girls/Trafficking — 11,332 women and girls trafficked. 31 women and girls trafficked every day. 1 woman or girl trafficked every 46 minute.
• Kidnapping and abduction — 14,630 women and minor girls kidnapped or abducted. 40 women and minor girls kidnapped every day. 1 woman or minor girl abducted every 36 minutes.
• Dowry Related Murders — 7,895 women murdered due to dowry demands. 21 women murdered every day. 1 woman murdered due to dowry every 66 minutes.
• Domestic Violence — 49,237 women face domestic violence in marital homes. 135 women tortured by husbands/ in-laws every day. 1 woman faces torture in marital relationship every 11 minutes. Domestic violence constitutes 33.3% of the total crimes against women.
• Suicide — 12,134 women driven to commit suicide for dowry. 1,10,424 housewives commit suicide and account for 52% of the total female suicide victims.
• Child Sexual Abuse – A study reveals that of 350 school girls 63% had experienced sexual abuse at the hands of family members. 25% had been raped, forced to indulge the perpetrators sexual whims. Nearly 33% said perpetrator had been close family member or male friend of family.
• Sexual Abuse — Out of 600 women respondents 76% were sexually abused in childhood or adolescence. Of the abusers 42% were ‘uncle’ or ‘cousin’, 4% were ‘father’ or ‘brother’.
• Domestic Violence — Over 40% of married Indian women face physical abuse by their husband. 1 in every 2 women faces domestic violence in any of its forms – physical, sexual, psychological and/or economic.

Crimes Against Women - Facts & Figures

Crimes Against Women – Facts & Figures