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UN Agencies Call for the Promotion of Girls’ Empowerment and the Fulfillment of Their Human Rights

Sarajevo, 11. October 2012 - Girls face discrimination and violence every day across the world.  The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

For the inaugural day, UN agencies have come together to focus on child marriage, which is a human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk of violence and abuse, separates her from her peers, and jeopardizes her health.

Globally, more than one in three young women aged 20-24 years were first married before they reached age 18. One third of them entered into marriage before they turned 15. Child marriage results in early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening risks for girls.

Girls with low levels of schooling are more likely to be married early, and child marriage has been shown to virtually end a girl’s education. Conversely, girls with secondary schooling are up to six times less likely to marry as children, making education one of the best strategies for protecting girls and combating child marriage.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, one out of ten women (aged 20 to 49) got married before 18, according to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) from 2006. This number is estimated to be significantly higher for Roma women.

Governments in partnership with civil society actors and the international community are called upon to take action to end the harmful practice of child marriage and to:

• Raise awareness amongst the public and especially amongst the Roma population about child marriage as a violation of human rights.
• Improve access to good quality primary and secondary education for all including Roma.
• Mobilize girls, boys, parents and leaders to promote girls’ rights and create opportunities for them.
• Support girls who are already married by providing them with options for schooling, sexual and reproductive health services, livelihoods skills, opportunity, and recourse from violence.
• Address the root causes underlying child marriage, including gender discrimination, low value of girls, poverty, or cultural justifications.
 
Empowering girls and safeguarding their rights is at the heart of the issue. Commitment and resources are required to accelerate action that will empower girls and scale up successful interventions’

Prepared by UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women


 

 

 

 

Agencije UN-a pozivaju na promociju osnaživanja djevojčica i poštivanje njihovih ljudskih prava


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