We Indians never fail to immerse ourselves in the mythological tales of our Gods and Goddesses! Yet, the same people who pray to the Goddesses daily are the ones that wish for more sons to be born in the family. It is really surprising that even after the birth of a girl child being associated with prosperity, people largely favor having a boy child. This mentality has a very bad effect on the sex ratio of India and eventually on the overall society.
11th of October every year is observed as International Day of the Girl Child worldwide. This day is dedicated to talking about the issues related to baby girls. Major ones being female feticide, discrimination among girl and boy child, and many other issues that the little girls have to face both before and after they are born. These issues are not only observed in India but many parts of the world. The major reason for this type of culture is the dowry practice in marriages and boys being considered as future bread earners of the family.
International Girl Child Day is celebrated every 11th October to make sure to reach as many people as possible with these revelations. The unspoken issues must be talked about in front of the whole world. All these issues are a result of a patriarchal society that has defined gender roles which are high in the favor of men.
The roles are reversing every passing day, men are getting more involved in household chores, and more and more women are becoming career-oriented. But there is still a not so fine line that is drawn by the society between men & women. And these differences start from the time before even a child is born! The detection of a baby’s gender while he/she is in the womb of a woman because this practice widened the sex ratio of India largely.
There are still many places where there is high discrimination between girls and boys even if they are siblings, the boys are sent to school whereas girls are expected to do household chores. This is similar to child labor as education is put aside and chores are given more priority. There are many other things where clear discrimination can be seen among boys and girls like sports, bike riding, and traveling alone. While boys are given more and more freedom to pursue their hobbies and dreams, girls are expected to be homely, shy & docile with little or no hobbies other than cooking & stitching. These aspects largely affect the demography of India and that too in negative ways.
International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated to make sure that such issues are brought to light and steps are taken to eradicate them from society. Another matter that is brought into perspective by the International Day of the Girl Child is the rights of the girl child under the constitution. Education & Nutrition are more topics that are raised on this day to emphasize the lack of these two necessities for girls.
The Major motives behind the observance of International Day of the Girl Child are as follows:
To ensure equal rights for the girl child
To aware people about the necessary health & nutrition for girls
To ensure equal opportunities for girls
To explain the importance of a girl child to people
To motivate girls to join schools or skill development
To change the sex ratio that is currently against the girl child
To ensure gender equality in the world
The ministry of women and child development works towards addressing the issues that are related to the girl child. The government of India has also framed welfare schemes for girls to ensure the empowerment of girls. Two of the most popular welfare schemes for girls are “Beti Bachao Beti Padao” which focuses on educating the girl child and another is “Sukanya Samridhii Yojana” that helps parents save money for the future of their girl child.
There are many efforts made by the government and other authorities towards the welfare of girls in India, but the actual change starts when we the common people take actions for breaking stereotypes. Let us all come together and pledge to make the world a better place for little girls!
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