To recognize the unique challenges faced by young girls all across the world, the United Nations declared October 11th as the “International Day of the Girl Child.”  The theme this year for the event is to empower adolescent girls. The Huffington Post reports that ten million girls across the world are married before the age of 18 every year. They are denied higher education in many countries and are subjected to mental, physical and sexual violence just because of their gender.

 

Maryam Zar, the founder of Womenfound, Former Iran Correspondent for MEED, Director of Communications for UN Women feels: “…a modern civilization must invest the resources and energy to ensure that an entire gender is not systemically denied basic human rights, including the right to be heard.” She shares with The Huffington Post, writings of young Afghani girls as a part of the Afghan Women’s Writing Project (AWWP).

 

Asma has been writing for the AWWP since 2001. She talks about her mother and how she was not given any right over having children. Her personal story titled, “How many children is a woman’s right” reveals how even educated married women do not have the option to choose the number of children they want to have.

 

[Picture Courtesy: The Guardian]

Another true story by Basira, reveals the plight of a woman named Rahima, who like hundreds of other women in the country was overworked and abused by her husband and family. Later, her 13 year old daughter was traded off in marriage for another young girl her husband took as his wife.

 

Massoma, a writer and photographer for AWWP wrote an open letter to the President of Afghanistan. She calls upon the government of her country to step up and protect the rights of women and support their education. Another young girl: Fatima H., a ninth grader who writes a Farsi blog titled “High Schoolers’ Cultural Exchange,” tries to raise awareness amongst teenagers about other cultures.

 

ORIGINAL SOURCE: The Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maryam-zar/day-of-the-girl-child—e_b_5968452.html