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Honorable Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare (far left) talking to the Economic, Social and Cultural rights (ESCR) network delegates during the International Day of the Girl Child. Photo: Sadikshya Chaudhary/IM Nepal.

IM sheds light on Girls

Published 4 December 2017

IM observed the International Day of the Girl Child in the South Asia region on 11 October 2017. The UN General Assembly adopted the day in 2011, to shed light on the unique challenges girls face all over the world. The advocacy event saw various awareness-raising activities at both communities and at the national level in Nepal and India. Through the campaign, IM advocated the importance of education for girl children and its impact on our societies.

IM and its partners in Nepal and India worked together to give a common message of “Educated Girls = Educated Society”. We utilized their existing networks to engage relevant stakeholders to raise awareness on the issue. SSDC and Kiran from Nepal and India respectively shared their message with the public through street dramas. SSDC and SEED from Nepal organized speech competitions on the related topics in target schools. Bethany Sisters, the partner from India organized wall painting programs where children raised awareness through an artistic medium.

In Nepal, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) network led by JuRI Nepal, submitted a memorandum letter to the relevant ministries - Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare and, State Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development. During the meeting, the civil society representatives demanded development of girl-friendly laws, policies, and programs at the federal level. They also demanded technical support to the local and provincial governments to ensure girls-friendly laws, policies, programs, and mechanism. Both ministers warmly welcomed the delegation of ESCR Network and made commitments to protect and promote girls’ rights. A memorandum with similar demands was also submitted to the newly formed 766 local government bodies.

The campaign was able to generate attention from all government bodies, community members and relevant stakeholders at various levels. “As the socio-economic status of girls in South Asia is very low, a regional advocacy campaign such as this is important to raise awareness on girl’s issues and shed light on their challenges,” shared Sharon Jacob, Program Officer, India.