International Day of the Girl Child: A Voice Will Be Heard

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With every passing day, the eyes, ears and minds of the masses are always concerned with the safety of girl children in Liberia and around the world.

The international community will on October 11, again get to encourage and proclaim the human rights of the girl child. The day will be focused on gender equality, discrimination and abuse of girl children. These matters will be talked about, explored as suggestions leading to realistic change that can adequately be mustered.

For the meantime, there are still so many issues being trampled on by cultural beliefs, stubbornness and power that cause the mistreatment of girls.

One of them is the female genital mutilation (FGM) that Liberian girls go through. Sources have revealed that Sande bushes in River Gee, Bomi, Caldwell and Grand Bassa have re-opened, adding fear to girls living in those areas.

“Despite the Liberian government ordering them closed until the academic school year ends, we are seeing girls dropping out of school or not attending at all to be able to join this year,” stated Madam Helena, a midwife working at Tappita hospital, Nimba County.

According to Helena, there has not been any case where a girl had to be rushed to the hospital in the past six months, as a result of FMG.

“Most times if a mother brings her daughter here for treatment because of loss of blood, we try to investigate what may have caused it, but we always come short of being able to do a physical exam on her. But in most cases, we can know if a girl has been through that or not,” she added.

Child marriage

The handing over of girls below the age of 15 years old to families who might need them for cleaning or a helping hand has become common. Though there are laws against child abuse and rape, the poverty level that surrounds most households in Liberia has forced its occupants to look for survival.

“A girl is a valuable asset. If you have a pretty daughter and someone with money sees her, of course they will want your child to live with them. Everyone likes a pretty child,” Pa Brown stated.

There are many things going to be discussed, highlighted and heard on the International Day of the Girl Child. Victims of abuse, women’s groups committed to equality and the many innocent voices of girls and women will be the key focus of the International Girl Child Day.

The world looks forward to October 11, this year and every year to come.

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