from Women Around the World and Women and Foreign Policy Program

International Day of the Girl Child

nepal girls child bride

October 11, 2016

nepal girls child bride
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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Today, October 11, 2016, is the International Day of the Girl Child. The focus of this year’s internationally recognized day is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls.” The theme recognizes the promise of the world’s new development framework, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to address issues that hold girls back around the world, and highlights the need for increased investment in quality sex-disaggregated data to make progress toward all seventeen goals. Learn more about the status and rights of girls in these five publications from the Women and Foreign Policy program.

Child Marriage                                                                                                                            If current trends continue, 142 million girls will marry before adulthood within this decade. Child marriage remains widespread in developing countries, disproportionately affecting girls and endangering their lives and livelihoods. Rooted in cultural tradition and poverty, the practice not only violates human rights laws but also threatens stability and economic development. Explore the CFR Interactive >>

Child bride Krishna, 12, plays on an improvised swing outside her house in a village near Baran, India, July 2011 (Courtesy Reuters/Danish Siddiqui).
Child bride Krishna, 12, plays on an improvised swing outside her house in a village near Baran, India, July 2011 (Courtesy Reuters/Danish Siddiqui).

Five Questions About Girls’ Education                                                                               In an interview with the Women and Foreign Policy program, Meighan Stone, president of the Malala Fund, highlighted new challenges to universal access to quality education. Stone argued that free, quality, and safe education, particularly for girls, is the unfinished business of development around the world. Challenges are particularly acute in conflict settings: over twenty-four million children are out of school in thirty-five conflict-affected countries today. Read the interview >>

Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai poses for pictures at the United Nations in New York, New York, August 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Carlo Allegri).
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai poses for pictures at the United Nations in New York, New York, August 2014 (Courtesy Reuters/Carlo Allegri).

Women and Girls in the Afghanistan Transition                                                           The advancement of women and girls correlates with gains in stability, security, and development. Although Afghan women and girls have made strides in access to education, the economy, health care, politics, and civil society since the 2001 U.S.-led intervention, these advances remain fragile. Read the CFR Working Paper >>

Teacher Mahajera Armani and her class of girls pose for a picture at their study open area, founded by Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), outside Jalalabad city, Afghanistan September 19, 2015. Nearly three years after Taliban gunmen shot Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, the teenage activist last week urged world leaders gathered in New York to help millions more children go to school. World Teachers’ Day falls on 5 October, a Unesco initiative highlighting the work of educators struggling to teach children amid intimidation in Pakistan, conflict in Syria or poverty in Vietnam. Even so, there have been some improvements: the number of children not attending primary school has plummeted to an estimated 57 million worldwide in 2015, the U.N. says, down from 100 million 15 years ago. (Courtesy Reuters/Parwiz)
Teacher Mahajera Armani and her class of girls pose for a picture at their study open area, founded by Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), outside Jalalabad city, Afghanistan September 19, 2015. (Courtesy Reuters/Parwiz)

Closing the Gender Data Gap                                                                                                   In many countries, reliable data on the status of women and girls are sorely lacking. Experts suggest that current statistical systems can fully track and measure indicators for only a handful of the 169 targets that comprise the 2030 agenda. Data gaps are largest in the world’s poorest countries, with estimates of up to $1 billion per year required in order to enable low-income countries to measure progress toward the goals. Read the blog post >>

Maasai girls watch a video on a mobile phone prior to the start of an event advocating against harmful traditional practices in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016. In Kenya, as in many countries around the world, national statistical systems have been ill-equipped and under-funded to collect data on ethnic minorities, rural communities, and indigenous populations. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola
Maasai girls watch a video on a mobile phone prior to the start of an event advocating against harmful traditional practices in Imbirikani, Kenya, April 21, 2016. REUTERS/Siegfried Modola

New Results From Bangladesh on How to Delay Child Marriage                               The Population Council recently completed a randomized controlled trial study to evaluate what works best to delay child marriage, involving more than 9,000 girls across three child marriage hotspot regions in rural Bangladesh. For eighteen months, girls met weekly with local mentors and peers in safe, girl-only locations, called BALIKA centers, and received life skills training, educational support, gender rights awareness training, and livelihoods skills training. Initial results are promising: girls living in BALIKA communities were one-third less likely to get married than those not living in communities reached by the project. Read the blog post >> and View the BALIKA data >>

Girls are transported to school by boat in Srinagar, Bangladesh (Courtesy Reuters/Rafiqur Rahman).
Girls are transported to school by boat in Srinagar, Bangladesh (Courtesy Reuters/Rafiqur Rahman).

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