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Tajikistan commemorates the International Day of the Girl Child


Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF Representative (left) speaking at the Conference devoted to the International Day of the Girl Child in Dushanbe

Dushanbe, October 10, 2012 - In an effort to promote the rights of girls and to address the unique challenges that they face around the world, the International Day of the Girl Child, designated by the United Nations in 2011 is commemorated in Tajikistan with the partnership of UNICEF and UNFPA.
The partners involved in the campaign devoted to this day coined it as “My Life-My Right: No to Child Marriage” to highlight the impact of early marriage on all aspects of a girl’s life, calling upon all actors including Government, civil society, and families to take urgent action to end the harmful practice of child marriage.
Under this campaign, on October 10, 2012 UNFPA organised a conference devoted to the International Day of the Girl Child where national experts discussed the issues that girls and young women face in Tajik society and find what holds society back to give girls an equal status as boys.
“We always support the initiatives related to empowerment of girls and women. The International Day of the Girl Child is one more opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitments to promotion of rights of girls to education and equal rights. We invite the partners to continue their efforts and work together to achieve our goals”, stressed Mr. Shahobiddin Mirzoahmedov, Representative of the Family and Women’s Affairs Committee under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan while delivering his speech during the conference.
UNFPA Tajikistan will also use social media to galvanize active youth and civil society leaders and initiate dialogues in order to shape appropriate public opinion and organize visit of Parliamentarians to rural districts for meetings with local population, religious and community leaders on the issues related to early marriage, gender equality, and family planning. In addition, UNFPA arranged publication of series of articles at national and regional newspapers, as well as broadcast of TV program related to the problems of early marriage in Tajikistan. 
 “Empowering girls is a key to reducing discrimination, violence and poverty, and to promote and ensure the full and effective enjoyment of their rights and opportunities.  It requires both active support and participation by their families, decision-makers, as well as men and society as a whole”, said Ms. Aziza Hamidova, UNFPA Assistant Representative.
The analysis of the State Women Centre in Dushanbe revealed that 18% of girls, who come to the Centre to get legal and psychological support, have early marriages. This year, the Centre has already supported about 500 vulnerable women and now, in close partnership with UNICEF and UN Women in Tajikistan, is acting as a leading agency for the implementation of the Safe and Friendly Cities for All Program to make Dushanbe a safe city, particularly to young girls and women.
“Preventing child marriage protects girls’ rights and helps to reduce their risks of violence, early pregnancy, HIV infection, and maternal death and disability. When girls are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, they can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families and participate in the progress of their nations," said Ms. Laylee Moshiri, UNICEF Representative in Tajikistan.
Under this year’s theme “My Life-My Right: No to Child Marriage”, UNICEF organised a series of 16 interactive radio programmes at the national Radio “Vatan”  to discuss the issue of girls’ education with the audience, as well as a 9 hour Radio Marathon devoted to the International Day of Girl Child. The Radio Marathon consists of the festive program with facilitators talking every hour about this day. This is an entertaining marathon with lotteries about rights, live talks on the streets and distribution of leaflets on girls’ rights.

About the International Day of Child Girl:
The inaugural International Day of the Girl Child will take place on 11 October 2012. For its first observance, this year’s Day focuses on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and has an impact on 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, jeopardizes her health and therefore constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of nearly every Millennium Development Goal and the development of healthy communities.

Read this Press Release in Tajik | Russian

For further information, please contact:
United Nations’ Population Fund (UNFPA) in Tajikistan:

Mr. Parviz Boboev
Programme Associate
Tel.: +992 (44) 600-58-45
 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF ) in Tajikistan:

Ms. Parveena Muhammedkhajaeva
Communication Officer
Tel.: +992 (918) 31 00 71




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