Today, the strength of the girls’ movements around the globe are empowering girls and young women to take control of their lives.
This year’s International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October recognises that girls are “unscripted and unstoppable!”
Rights of the Girl Child
In 1995 the rights of women and girls were recognised as human rights at the Beijing World Conference for Women. This gathering of over 30,000 women from 200 countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. This was the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing the rights of not only women but girls.
The United Nations (UN) reports that “girls are discriminated against from the earliest stages of life, through their childhood and into adulthood. The Beijing Declaration was the first to specifically call out girls’ rights.”
Since that time, global girls’ and women’s movements have worked to address issues including: stopping child marriage, the right to an education, equal pay, financial security and political participation.
“Today, girls are moving from dreaming to achieving. More are attending and completing school, fewer are getting married or becoming mothers while still children. More are gaining the skills they need to excel in the future world of work. Girls are breaking barriers posed by stereotypes and exclusion, including those directed at children with disabilities and those living in marginalised communities. As entrepreneurs, innovators and initiators of global movements, girls are leading and fostering a world that is relevant for them and future generations.” United Nations.
International Day of the Girl Child
As the UN observes:
“Investing in girls is investing in a better future that is equal for all – for girls themselves, for their families and for communities. The progress of the past 25 years is remarkable. But girls around the world—especially those living in rural areas or humanitarian settings and those with disabilities — still need us to stand with them to achieve their full potential.”
For the past 8 years this international day has highlighted the needs of girls and young women. The objective is to promote empowerment through education, and the upholding of human rights.
We take the rights of children seriously. Our Child Protection policy works to ensure the rights of every child.
Advancing Girls’ Rights through Education
Education is power, it gives girls the freedom to choose what their future will hold.
Education is a priority for BTO. All the children in our care have access to education right through to tertiary level.
Chandu (above left) is doing homework with her brother, Suraj.
The kids are keen to learn, and also love participating in the art classes. The housemothers make homework fun and there is always time for cuddles.
Chandu is off to school in Birgunj (above). The school week in Nepal is six days.
How can you help? The gift of an education is invaluable. Increasing access to tertiary education in particular is incredibly important in advancing girls’ rights.
You may recall that Anshu (pictured below) is one of the young women in our program in Pokhara, Nepal. She recently graduated as a laboratory assistant. Her tertiary education is possible because of the generosity of one of our supporters who gave Anshu a scholarship. She is now hoping to undertake further study.
As the UN says, “Let’s work to reinforce girls’ rights to a safe childhood, to decide for themselves, and to education and skills.”
Help us to support girls’ rights to choose their future. Please consider contributing to our Scholarship Project.
Remember, positive change does happen. Together we can do amazing things.