Girl Power – International Day of the Girl Child

Last Thursday, October 11th, 2012, was the first UN International Day of the Girl Child.  Nowadays most people agree that one of the keys to the well-being and prosperity of the planet lies in the education, protection and enfranchisement of girls and women.  Unfortunately, most people doesn’t include the parents of millions of girls who are forcibly married off every day.  Or the government of Iran who have recently banned women from 77 university courses.  Or the Taliban in Pakistan who shot 14 year old Malala Yousufzai in the head last Tuesday, October 9th, because she had spoken out in favour of the education of girls and said –

“I have rights.  I have the right of education.  I have the right to play.  I have the right to sing.  I have the right to talk.  I have the right to go to market.  I have the right to speak up.”

Fortunately, more and more girls themselves are refusing to be married.  It takes great courage to do this but many little girls are doing it.  It takes courage on the part of parents as well as most of them are arranging marriages for their daughters because they love them and are worried about their futures.  These parents are nervous about stepping outside of tradition but many are beginning to listen to their daughters.

If you have time today perhaps you’d like to read what Desmond Tutu and Ela Bhatt said about this subject last Thursday – Today, A Promise to Girls.

Or maybe you’d like to watch this short video about one girl’s stand against marriage – and her family’s  surprising reaction.

Or maybe you’d like to see what Mary Robinson – and others – have to say about child brides –

If you have a minute you might also go onto the Amnesty USA page to send a message of support to the family of Malala Yousafzai.

But even if you don’t have the time to do any of those things perhaps you’d just think about the lives of the millions of little girls married against their will.  You might even talk to others about it and then, gradually, we will all become aware of how these little girls are robbed of their childhoods and chance for education and how this destroys hope for the future all over the world.

18 Comments

    1. I think you may be right, William but I hope that the turning point is one that leads to support for the education of girls and not further repression of girls and women because of fear of reprisals. Thanks.

  1. I’ve been watching, as has the world, the story of Malala. I can’t even begin to really absorb that incident, and yet I know it isn’t isolated. What an important post. Thank you for the additional links, too. I will read them. And I am happy to send a message via Amnesty International. It’s incredibly sobering.

  2. Such an important issue.. The Feminine is returning as the Power of the masculine is retreating in these times of Change.. No longer are Women subjects to be bought and sold and to be held as inferior objects… Standing up for ones rights in these countries take a great amount of courage, and I so admire them…
    Thank you for this Posting a very enlightening Subject..
    Sue x

  3. I’m glad that more people have responded to this subject and that it is being addressed… Welcome back! I didn’t get any notifications even though I subscribe… 🙂

  4. It certainly does take great courage to refuse to be married and you are so right in what you say about education. I’ve sooo missed you’re posts – for some reason WordPress hasn’t been highlighting them for me. That and the fact that I’ve been off kilter for a good while feeling really under the weather and haven’t been blogging much. I’m back now and I’m so delighted to read your post. I think I might just subscribe again rather than wait to WP to get their act together. I hope you’re well. I so enjoy your writing – yay – I’m back in the link.

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