Women seek equal footing on Girl Child Day

The first-ever International Day of the Girl Child declared by the United Nations was celebrated here on Thursday with a call for empowerment and equal treatment of girls to secure a bright future for them.

There was a call to prevent child marriages so that girls have an assurance of well-being in education, health, socio-economic conditions and family relations.

An event to mark the occasion was organised here by Plan India a child rights organisation and its partner NGOs, Urmul Seemant, Urmul Setu and Seva Mandir at the state Institute for Health and Family Welfare and was attended by about 100 girls from the project areas in the state.

These girls have fought against odds for their rights. Some of them opposed their marriage at an early age, some of them fought for continuing their education and some raised their voices against discrimination in their homes and community. Athlete Krishna Punia said if the girls are physically strong, nobody would be able to harass or exploit them. She said girls should take up some physical activity and ask parents to change their mindset. Instead of thinking about expenditure on marriage, they should spend money on educating their daughters, she said. Punia shared her story about competeing in the Olympics after her coach and husband encouraged her to do so.  

The state women’s commission chairperson, Laad Kumari Jain, said every girl and woman must be respected and women labour must be connected with money. Jain strongly opposed a proposal made by the Law Commission of India for reducing the age of marriage for boys from 21 years to 18 years and said this would pave the way for child marriage and affect the society at large.

She also flayed a recent statement of the former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala favouring the reduction of age of marriage of girls to 15 years to prevent rape.
Rajasthan commission  chairperson urged participants to speak up to prevent child marriages.

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