Girl Child Rights: A needed debate

In Kathmandu, for the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child 2013 (1st Dec), Jagriti Child and Youth Concern (JCYC) Nepal, organized an interactive program on “The Role of Stakeholders in Protecting Rights of the Girl Child”. As part of its solidarity campaign to protect the rights of the girl child, JCYC had the following objectives:

  • To facilitate an interactive program on the role of stakeholders in protecting the rights of the girl child
  • To raise awareness among the stakeholders regarding the rights of the girl child

Female children in South Asia are the most vulnerable population group in terms of equal access to education, healthcare, nutrition, sanitation, opportunities and resources. Cases of female feticide, child marriage, domestic servitude, sexual harassment, and physical and psychological trauma are very common for South Asian female children. Nepal is not very different than any other South Asian country. Hence, in order to bring about changes for female children in Nepal, ESDO Nepal has initiated this campaign. It was organized in collaboration with the Garden of Hope Foundation, Taiwan, JCYCN, Child Nepal, RELIC Nepal, Youth Coordination Centre, Kuleshwor Awash School, Cooperation for Poverty, YUFA, YES Nepal, Asmita Nepal, Y-PEER Nepal, ENepalKhabar Online, VAROSA, Youth SAF, HUREIC, and the Good Governance Association.

The honorary chief guest for the program was Mr. Rameshwor Phuyal, the newly elected Constituent Assembly member from Kathmandu constituency-3. Other guests for the program included Mr. Subodh Pyakurel, President of Informal Sector Service Centre (INSEC), Ms. Bimila Gyawali, President of CWISH, Ms. Sradha TImilsina, Programm Officer for the Central Child Welfare Committee and Mr. Krishna Subedi, President of Child Nepal. The program was facilitated by Mr. Tilottam Paudel, President of ESDO Nepal. Additionally, an essay competition was organized by ESDO Nepal to mark the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child. 4 winners were awarded and attended the interactive program representing various schools in Kathmandu.

There were 80 participants and concerned stakeholders, representing 25 organizations, that attended Ms. Bimila Gyawali presentation of a paper regarding the “Situation of Girl Child in Nepal: A Needed Debate”. In another workshop, Mr Ramwshwor Phyual presented about the need to end the selective abortion of fetuses based upon their gender. The right of birth for female fetuses should be ensured in the new constitution of Nepal. He assured that he will play a vital role in this constitutional development. In another instance of support, Mr. Suboh Raj Pyakurel stated that female children will not be protected unless, and until, there is the right for a girl to own paternal property. On an ending note, Mr. Tilottam Paudel stated that an educated girl child is the pillar of a prosperous family. Unless the rights of female children are ensured at the present, their future won’t be secured. The current female children are the future half of the population of the nation. Hence, the protection of their rights to education, healthcare, sanitation, and nutrition will lead to the prosperity of the nation in the future. It’s important to take into consideration the fact that women’s overall mental, physical and psychological development leads to the development of any nation.