Things We Need To Act Upon Right Now To Save The Girl Child
Save The Girl Child is probably one of the most prominent slogans in modern India. We have been saying this a lot, but the facts and figures tell a different story. The state of women in India has been plagued by evils like violence, sexual abuse, human trafficking, rape, and other horrific crimes.
A girl child in the country is also not spared from these heinous crimes. Foeticide, child marriage, gender discrimination, human trafficking and other atrocities of the society. Let us take a look at a few of the alarming figures.
As per UNICEF, India has a literacy rate of 74% for females as compared to 88% for males (18-24 years old).
As per UNICEF, 47% of girls in India are married off before the age of 18 years.
As per ASER Centre, nationally, for rural areas, 17.3% of girls (15-16 years old) are out of school.
Children make up roughly 40% of prostitutes.
It is estimated that over 2 million women and children are trafficked for sex into the red-light districts in India.
The Indian Government estimates that girls make up the majority of children in sex trafficking.
According to reports by Kanya.Life, Delhi tops the list of 30 cities with the most adverse difference between boys and girls aged between 0-6 years (with 86.8 thousand more boys than girls).
According to report by Youth in India, put together by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has projected that India’s skewed sex ratio is set to further dip by 2031.
India’s sex ratio is 1,000 boys for 940 girls.
These figures are not mere numbers but are real people. So, it is high time to take some real measures to bring these numbers down. It is high time that we take it seriously, increase awareness about the issue and some progressive steps to save the girl child.
We want to highlight these 4 defining actions that we as individuals, a society, and the Nation can do to empower girls and women:
- Educate every single girl: It is often said that if you educate a girl, then you educate a Nation. Every child deserves a proper education and being a girl child is no excuse for not getting one. But, the sad state of education, especially for females in our country bars most of the girls from getting even primary education. A lot of steps taken by the Indian Government to educate the girl child have shown some positive results, but still, we are far from the goal. So, promote girl child education either in your locality or sponsor education for people you know who cannot afford it.
- Say No to discrimination: In our patriarchal society, we still value the man more than the woman. This discrimination has to stop now- in our homes, in the society and in the world at large. Gender does not decide anything. A girl child is entitled to all the rights and privileges. But, people are still hovering in the darkness of superstition and barring girls to achieve their dreams. If you see such incidents, take a stand and do not shy away from reporting.
- Stop child marriages: Child marriage is one of the worst kind of situation for a girl child. They are being pushed into accepting something before they are mature enough. Their childhood, innocence and both physical and mental developments are being taken away from them. Government policies to stop child marriages are in place, but still, this evil could not be obliterated altogether. So if you come across any such case, do not stay mum, speak out and save the girl child.
- Stop child trafficking and sexual abuse: Sexual predators are everywhere. So, child trafficking and prostitution are also on the rise. Young girls are most vulnerable to these types of crimes. It might be difficult to completely obliterate sexual crimes, but with awareness and consciousness we can bring down the number of victims. Do not let anyone get away if you witness something. It is high time that we fight back and take every possible step to save the little girls from such heinous crimes.
These things what you just read are nothing new, but we never make a conscious effort to follow them. The main thing that needs to change is the mentality of the mass. It is a difficult thing and it will take time, but we hope eventually India will rise to a new height through its ways to empower women and girls.
There are many government policies to save girl child like ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’ and other laws and regulations to prevent sexual abuse and promote girl child education. We should actively participate in such endeavors in any way, whenever we can.
One of the greatest assets of a country is its people, and if half of the population is pushed into darkness, then no Nation can grow and prosper.
On the eve of #NationalGirlChildDay, BananiVista wishes every girl child a carefree childhood, a bright future, a safe life and the right to fulfill their own dreams.
There are a lot of NGOs and Organization who actively work towards this dream through various campaigns. Here are a couple of examples.
Dream A Dream