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Global Girlhood Report 2021: Girls Right in Crisis

  • 13 Oct 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, an Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Save the Children released the Global Girlhood Report 2021: Girls Right in Crisis.

International Day of the Girl Child

  • About:
    • It is observed annually on 11th October. It was declared by the United Nations (UN), which was first observed in 2012.
      • A resolution to declare 11th October as the International Day of the Girl Child was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 19th December 2011.
    • The day is dedicated to raising awareness on gender equality while assuring rights and improving opportunities for girls.
  • Theme for 2021:
    • Digital generation. Our generation.

Key Points

  • Rate of Child Marriage:
    • West and Central Africa has the highest rate of child marriage in the world.
  • Death Due to Child Marriage:
    • Child marriage kills more than 60 girls a day globally, 26 girls a day in West and Central Africa and six girls a day in South Asia.
      • South Asia is followed by East Asia and the Pacific and Latin American and the Caribbean.
    • The deaths are majorly caused from pregnancy and childbirth resulting from child marriage.
  • Effect of Covid on Child Marriage:
  • Suggestions: The report called on the governments to:
    • Help Girls Raising Voices:
      • Raise girls’ voices by supporting their right to safe and meaningful participation in all public decision-making.
    • Focus on Gender Equality:
      • Address immediate and ongoing risks of gender-based violence, including child marriage, by putting girls’ rights and gender equality at the center of Covid-19 and humanitarian responses, development policy, and broader efforts to build forward better.
    • Guarantee Girls Their Rights:
      • Guarantee the rights of all girls, including those impacted by different forms of inequality and discrimination by developing inclusive policies and programs. Safe and ethical data collection must also be improved to better understand and respond in real-time to Covid-19’s impact on existing economic, climate, and conflict-related crises.
    • Ensure Participation of Female Staffs:
      • Ensure the safe and unrestricted participation of female humanitarian staff in all humanitarian response efforts, including needs assessments and the design, implementation, and monitoring, and evaluation of all humanitarian services at every level.
    • Join the Generation Equality Movement:
      • The movement is working to deliver on the Global Acceleration Plan for Gender Equality (launched by Generation Equality Forum), which set a target to prevent nine million child marriages in five years.
  • Related Indian Initiatives:
    • The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929 restricts the practice of child marriage.
    • The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for marriage for women and men respectively.
      • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 was enacted to address and fix the shortcomings of the Child Marriage Restraint Act.
    • The Union Ministry for Women and Child Development has set up a committee to examine matters pertaining to age of motherhood, imperatives of lowering Maternal Mortality Ratio and the improvement of nutritional levels among women. The Committee is headed by Jaya Jaitely.
    • Prevention of Child Marriage is a part of SDG 5 which deals with gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.

Child Marriages India Specific Data

  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) estimates suggest that each year, at least 1.5 million girls under 18 get married in India, which makes it home to the largest number of child brides in the world - accounting for a third of the global total.
    • Nearly 16% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 are currently married.
  • While the prevalence of girls getting married before age 18 has declined from 47% to 27% between 2005-2006 and 2015-2016.

Source: IE

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