Monday, April 15, 2024

International Day of the Girl Child: illuminating Gender Inequality

Immigration News

Khaama Press
Khaama Presshttps://www.khaama.com
Khaama Press is a Kabul-based independent and non-political news organization established in 2010.

Written By: Zahra Rashidi

October 11th is the International Day of the Girl Child, a significant occasion devoted to increasing global awareness and enlightenment surrounding issues of gender inequality and the fundamental rights of girls. 

It serves as a vital date on the calendar, specifically designated to address the multifaceted challenges girls encounter, notably in areas such as education, healthcare, violence against them, and the persisting issue of child marriage, prevalent in numerous societies. The United Nations has named this day the International Day of the Girl Child, focusing on raising awareness about gender inequality, which girls face across the globe.

However, as of October 11th, in Afghanistan, it has been over two years since women and girls have been prohibited from going to school, university, recreational parks, and even travelling without a male guardian.

Saadia, a student left stranded after recent developments, says in an interview with Khaama Press News Agency, “I no longer celebrate any day as ‘Girl’s Day’ because recently, all girls’ rights in Afghanistan have been taken away.”

She adds, “Gender inequality does not just exist in society; it starts from our homes. When I woke up this morning, none of my family members congratulated me on this day. Instead, I witness humiliation from my family daily because of my gender.”

Saadia states that it is not just her, but most girls in Afghanistan have always wished, “I wish I were not a girl.” According to Saadia’s belief, in traditional societies, the value of boys far exceeds that of girls.

On the other hand, Mursel, a mother of two daughters, says, “I am constantly threatened and harassed by my husband and his family because they warn me that if I do not give birth to a son in the future and only have daughters, they will divorce me.”

Based on findings from the past to the present, traditional families, especially in Afghanistan, prioritize the presence of sons in all aspects of life as more valuable while denying the rights of daughters and perceiving them as powerless beings.

In many cases, this leads to increased mental illnesses and ultimately contributes to suicides among girls.

Research has shown that the participation of all community members, regardless of gender, is essential for the economic development of countries. The meaningful involvement of women and girls in economic, political, cultural, and social planning can be considered a development cornerstone and can save society from potential crises.

According to experts, ensuring girls in Afghanistan requires considering men and boys as equal partners in gender equality. It is necessary to introduce new and critical definitions of Afghan masculinity that negate gender inequality and violence.

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