International Girl Child Day
Post by RK News on Wednesday, October 12, 2022
International Day of the Girl Child is observed every year on October 11 all around the world. The main purpose of celebrating this day is to raise awareness among the people about gender inequality and discrimination that is prevalent in every society. This day also glorifies the achievements of girls and draws attention towards women’s empowerment. This year, the theme for the International Day of Girl Child is ‘Our time is now; our rights, our future.' Over the years, a lot has been written and debated on girl child and strict laws formulated to ensure that there is no discrimination on the basis of gender. It is generally believed, and supported by empirical data also, that in South Asian countries boy child is preferred over girl child. Caught in a quagmire of controversial local customs, traditions and social values, the governments had to intervene to protect the girl child as practices like abortions and female feticides came to light. Often, the disproportional sex ratio is cited as an indicator of the preference and discrimination that apparently is deep-rooted in the societies here, Jammu and Kashmir being no exception. The government has come up with stringent measures, like it is banned and a punishable crime to divulge information about the gender of the foetus. The law is followed, more or less, throughout the region. But there is a lot to take care of than mere gender determination of foetus. It is argued that by banning the practice of knowing the gender beforehand, female feticide has been stopped to some extent. But a grim picture emerges once we look a little further. Let us say there is a section of people who harbor prejudice against the girl child and in the absence of laws like the one cited above, would go to the extreme of killing the baby inside the womb. If the law prevents these people, what would be the future of the girl children born thereof. Would the prejudice and discrimination end just because they have been prevented from opting the feticide? Would these girls and later women receive the treatment and fair share that we all believe they should? These are some of the disturbing questions that need to be answered. While celebrating Girl Child Day we all need to take a pledge to fight against the gender prejudice and detrimental values, customs and social traditions, which unfortunately cannot be dealt with by hands of law. The solution lies in changing the mindset of the people so that bias, discrimination and prejudice against the girl child is completely eliminated by achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.