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International Day of the Girl Child – Minister of State Böhmer draws attention to the rights of women and children, particularly young girls

11.10.2014

On the United Nations’ International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, Minister of State Maria Böhmer drew attention to the rights of women, children and young girls and called on the international community and all individuals to show greater respect, recognition and appreciation.

In many countries, young girls face disadvantages and discrimination from birth. They are neglected, discriminated against and marginalised in their own families and by society. Young girls suffer more often from malnutrition, diseases and a lack of education. Many young girls are not even aware of their rights. They need the support of the international community and of each and every individual in order be able to exercise these rights.

The list of human rights violations, which young girls in particular face, is long. Böhmer said that it is a disgrace for the world that we still have trafficking in women, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, violence against women in conflicts, so-called “honour” crimes, forced marriages and forced prostitution in the 21st century . “It is the duty of every country and of every person to oppose such inhumane brutality and to uphold equal rights and equal opportunities for women and men.”

The Minister of State underlined that strong societies need empowered women and girls:

In China, it is said that ‘women hold up half of the sky’. But unfortunately, the reality in many places is that young girls in particular still often live in hell. However, the world needs empowered women and young girls.

Böhmer emphasised that a central place in the German Government’s human rights policy is reserved for the protection of women and children and the improvement of their human rights situation. She said that women and children’s rights policy plays an important role, and not just in home affairs. The German Government also works to bolster women and children’s human rights in its foreign and development policy.

The International Day of the Girl Child is a day of action declared by the United Nations. On 11 October each year, the day focuses attention on girls’ situation worldwide and on the serious discrimination some of them face.

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