Image: Huggs Canada
The International Day of the Girl has been celebrated since 2012, on October 11.
This particular day highlights and addresses the needs, and challenges that girls across the globe face; it also promotes the empowerment of girls and the fulfillment of their human rights.
It is no surprise that Papua New Guinea, much like many other countries, developing or not, still face on-going battles with gender parity, but today, is specific to girls alone.
In PNG, girls in rural areas are faced with challenges that may or may not affect girls in urbanised centres. For instance, the idea of education may or may not be something that is of great importance, as it is perceived by social or customary norms that she is of better use at home.
That perception forfeits other opportunities such as sport, employment or any other opportunities that may be available to her.
These perceptions need to be addressed, so that a more open minded perception can be ascertained, one that will encourage our girls to be focused on self development.
The New Ireland Triathlon Academy (NITA) strives to encourage and boost female participation in sports and actively enforces equal participation of both girls and boys.
These are the kinds of activities that change mind sets and allow women to themselves as more than what social norms or customs have told them. It also shows men, as well as boys that girls, and women are just capable of doing things that men can do.
According to UN Women ‘Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. In humanitarian emergencies, gender-based violence often increases, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation and trafficking. Adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 per cent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict-free countries, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.’
As such this year’s International Day of the Girl marks the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises.
Across the world, empowered girls are raising their voices to fight for their rights and protection in all contexts. They are working to end violence against women and girls, to recognise indigenous rights, and to build peaceful and cohesive communities.
Here’s a look at a video by UN Women on empowering women – before, and after crises: