“Because of entrenched gender inequalities, disasters and conflict can make a bad situation even worse for girls,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, in a statement marking the International Day, with this year’s theme of “EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises.”
“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, including trafficking, rape and sexual slavery,” she added.
According to the Organization’s main entity on gender issues, UN Women, due to growing conflict, instability and inequality in 2017, 128.6 million people are expected to need humanitarian assistance, and more than three-quarters of those forced to flee are women and children.
“No society will flourish and no peace agreement will be lasting without empowering girls in peacebuilding and reconstruction,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), adding that “It is time to put this imperative at the heart of all of our efforts in addressing fragility, conflict and violence.”
Since 2012, the UN has observed Oct. 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child to highlight and address the challenges girls face, while promoting their empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. Enditem