Do we need an ‘International Day of the Girl Child’?
Even with the declaration of the ‘International Day of the Girl Child,’ many in the country are not aware of the day. Keeping this in mind, The Kerala State Women’s Commission has declared October 11 as a day dedicated to the girl child. Many wonder if this was necessary and if declaring days such as these even help the cause.
It is believed by some that events such as these at least bring an important issue to the spotlight, reminding everyone that this is a prevalent social evil that needs to be dealt with. According to writer Anita Nair, in India, the discrimination is more emotional than it is physically obvious. Advocate Sandhya, member of Kerala State Child Rights Commission told the New Indian Express, “The process may be slow. But the discussions and interactions definitely have made an impact. That’s why a girl’s childhood today is way different from that it was in the 70’s.”
[Picture Courtesy: UC San Diego]
Molly Kuruvilla, former director and senior reader of the Centre for Women’s and Senior Studies, Calicut University feels similarly, as she says, “It triggers at least discussions and interactions. Otherwise no one would be reminded that women are ruthlessly quelled in almost all fields… parents and teachers again restrict their [girls’] mobility. It affects their self-esteem and confidence. Some accept it with stoicism others rebel. This is not healthy for their well-being. Rather than scaring them, they should be taught to tackle such situations and protect themselves.”
Writer Anees Salim however, has a skeptical view towards the day. He feels such an initiative is not enough to end gender inequality and adds that many educated and celebrated women too sometimes blame the women for their plight. He concludes by saying that our society is highly gender-biased and that even though this is a start, a lot more needs to be done to help the cause.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: New Indian Express