On October 11, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, announcing this day as the International Day of the Girl Child to highlight the threats, discrimination and issues faced by the girls all over the world. Having started this day focusing on the issue of Child marriages of Girls in the year 2011, this year the theme of this day is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress : A Global Girl Data Movement”.
There are many obstacles to overcome for girls in our world. According to the UN,
- 116 million women across the developing countries of the world never complete their primary school.
- Two-thirds of the illiterate population of the world is female.
- 700 million women alive today were married before they turned 18
- 50% of all sexual assaults worldwide target girls under the age of 16
- 130 million girls worldwide have faced female genital mutilation
- 80% of the 8 lac people trafficked annually are female
These are the blaring figures of discrimination and non-safety of girls all over the world. And if we look closer home, in the city of Mumbai itself, we find multiple families, who have stopped their daughter’s education to make way for their son’s education, or getting their daughters married off to a man much older than her to ensure early riddance of the responsibility of raising her, or even instances of female foeticide.
At Mumbai Smiles, we give utmost importance to development of girl child as we strongly believe that girls lead any nation and so, educating girls is the only way to empower them and ensure that they know that they have the Right to fight for themselves and ensure equal and dignified lives, as all the others. And so, one of our anti-poverty projects is the Girl Child Education or the GCE project.
Started in the year 2013, the GCE aims to bring about gender equity and equality in the slum communities with which we work, by way of ensuring education, better healthcare and capacity building sessions. And so since its inception, the GCE has been successful in supporting a total of 943 girls, residing in the most disadvantaged communities in the northern part of Mumbai. This support has been successful in form of scholarships worth a total of Rs. 33,03,498 to help them continue their education in our partner schools, provision of school utility kits for each of the beneficiaries, 18 health camps with free nutritional supplements and 400 capacity building sessions, that including topics such as communication skills, stress management, reproductive and sexual health, menstrual hygiene and sanitation among many others.
We stand with the Girl Child.
Support us support them.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how to help the Girl Child of the slum communities of the northern area of Mumbai and help this city become a better and more equal city.
(Photography Credits: Quim Fabregas & Oliver Roura)