Sunday, October 14, 2012


International Day of the Girl

October 11th,2012 was designated "The Day of the Girl". To the best of my knowledge nothing was done locally in recognition of this day. Be that as it may I applaud the the International Day of the Girl child and its mission which  is" to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls' lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential".

It's no secret that for many girls being born female is one of life's biggest tragedies. For example, approximately one third of all girls worldwide are denied opportunities to education, In the recent past teen mothers in St Vincent had to kiss their formal education goodbye although no such fate befell teen dads. Thankfully this archaic way of thinking no longer exists. Fourteen yr old Malala Yousuf remains in critical condition after she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman.Her only crime being her advocacy for the education of girls. While her tragic story has captures the world's attention the reality is that many girls the world over are denied their basic human rights.

In the book "Half the Sky" the author notes the numbing global statistics on the abuse of girls. It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years precisely because they were girls than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century. More girls are killed in this routine "genocide" in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocide of the 20th century. If that is not horrific enough each year roughly two million girls between the ages of 5 to 7 are trafficked in human slavery. Little girls suffer genital mutilation and are forced into marriages and childbearing before their bodies are sufficiently mature.

Closer to home a recent survey of three Caribbean countries(including mine) revealed that sexual contact occurs as early as 5 years.That made my heart sink because these children should  not be losing their innocence so early.  Sadly, the face of evil is often one that is all too familiar. Sometimes I think I'd like to have a little girl. In my mind's eye she would be filled with the joy of living. I would want to protect her from all the evil in this world but at times I fear I wouldn't be able to in the face of all that could turn her world upside down.The bottom line is each girl deserves a life free from gender bias,abuse and discrimination.

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