Little one step

Adolescent girls from Mahottari, Udayapur and Baglung deserve commendation for their initiative to grapple with social malpractices like child marriages, gender and caste-based discrimination and domestic violence. By thrashing out these burning issues at the Girls’ Congress in Kathmandu at present, these girls are trying to come up with a plan of action for the coming year. The participants are working hard to remove the social and cultural stigma, which they are subjected to during menstruation. Apart from this, the other malpractice of forcing women to stay in cowsheds after giving birth must be stopped as it not only violates the women’s right to safe delivery but also jeopordises their life.

There is an urgent need to uplift women, especially the girl child whose breed happens to constitute more than 50 per cent of the population. This calls for the involvement of men as well for the better implementation of the plans and policies at the national level to ameliorate their condition. Despite the government’s policy of free primary education, the discrimination against the girl child persists across the nation. Following the success of a series of awareness campaigns like dramas and rallies, there is also the need to generate awareness on the advantages of sending a girl to school.

The government, NGOs and INGOs should make extensive use of television and radio in order to propagate the myriad benefits of education. During the last two years 3,000 girls from the three districts have been trained in reproductive health and other areas like how to access health services. There is need to implement this policy at the national level as well. Such skill-based training programmes will hold girls in good stead and make them more competitive and self-reliant. The policy makers must realise the significance of the adage that educating a girl child is equal to educating an entire family. Bearing this in mind, everyone must cooperate in bringing the best in her.