The Convention on the Rights of the Child guarantees the rights of all children– without discrimination in any form. It obliges states to ensure that each child – boy or girl – within their jurisdiction has all the rights recognized by the Convention. But in many countries and cultures, girls are not always granted equal access to their rights. In fact, despite the near universal ratification of the Convention, millions of girls are denied their human rights. These are rights to an education, the right to live free of rape as a weapon of war, the right to be born (in several countries, when it is found that a mother is carrying a girl, she is aborted), the right to health, the right to select her own husband when she is of marriageable age, and the right to be free of human trafficking. In October of last year, the General Assembly recognized that the empowerment of girls is key in decreasing discrimination and in protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights. The General Assembly officially invited all organizations to observe the International Day of the Girl each year, and in doing so to raise awareness of the situation of girls around the world. One of our girl advocates, Caroline Christie, is preparing a packet of resources for the celebration of this day, which I will send when it is ready.
Posted on July 3, 2012 by Sister Mary Jo Toll