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E-Pao! Essays - Girls and Gender Discrimination

Girls and Gender Discrimination

By: Loya Maisnam *



"Short-changing girls is not only a matter of gender discrimination; it is bad economics and bad societal policy. Experience has shown, over and over again, that investment in girls' education translate directly and quickly into better nutrition for the hole family, better health care, declining fertility, poverty reduction and better overall economic performance"
Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary General

Gender discrimination and patriarchal domination has shown us today a case to be study in a wide range of scope. Many human rights institutes and other forth runner frontal organizations have taken many serious steps towards human dignity, including gender discrimination, for liberty and for human rights violation in the region a long time ago. Though a particular reflections in regarding the gender crisis has not been measured in the region, despite peoples' local voices against the gender humiliation and so on, a wide spread discrimination has already been dominated the contiguous regions of the state. When we discuss the gender discrimination, we could never ignore the root cause of the matter, which is still remained in a negligible status, the girls' right. We all have gone through many known crisis and disputes, and moreover gender discrimination. But we left to focus the discrimination of girl rights, which is the basic case study of the gender discrimination.

We see, everywhere in each corner of the world, girls face discrimination. It is bitter that, they often receive less food than boys do, have less entrée to schooling, and in many countries of the world, works long hours when they are only 5 or 6 years old. It is a growing landmark, eighty million girls aged 6 to 11 do not even go to school. And why can't we see the helpless agony of the girl child around the world. Their ignorance will certainly beget to forget our cause, which is still fractured in the regions. We see, in societies where a male child is regarded as more valuable to the family, girls often are: denied the right of life; denied the right to name and nationality. And by being married off early or forced to stay at home and help in domestic chores, girls are often denied: the right to education and all the advantages that go with it; the right to associate freely; the rights accompanying unjustified deprivation of liberty. These all are the basic humiliation from the family to the girls when boys are regarded as the pillar of tomorrow. Neither they are allowed to go freely nor, they able to associate in the society as male boys do liberally. Only a few highly civilized countries don't face such discrimination extremely.

There are fractions of gender discrimination in the region, which is typically brought by the conflicts and fratricidal wars, ethnic wars and irritant communalism, indeed led the way to gender discrimination. It is not only the elite group or ruling government which are not orderly obeys the laws, neither they takes any alternate initiative for the gender crisis nor, any other institute or organization do. Many dissident groups in the contiguous region are also violating such girl rights internally. In our ethnically disputed regions, society itself is the vital anatomy that has shown how girls are less important than boys. The patriarchal society of the region has allowed the boys or man to be emphasized more than girls important. War, extreme poverty and other deprivations further endanger girls' lives because they may be raped and forced to work in extremely dangerous situations and environments as sex slaves, highly exploited domestic workers, or bonded workers in factories or on farms. These all make a strong case for the extra protection support from the international community to ensure that girls' rights are acknowledged and protected.

Here is the vital statistics cited by the United Nations:

  • Of the more than 110 million children not in school, approximately 60 per cent are girls.

  • By age 18, girls have received an average of 4.4 years less than education than boys.

  • Of the more than 130 million primary-school-age children worldwide who are not enrolled in school, nearly 60 per cent are girls.

  • In some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls have HIV rates up to five times as high as adolescent boys.

  • Pregnancies and childbirth-related health problems take the lives of nearly 146,000 teenage girls each year.

  • In sub-Saharan Africa, a woman faces a 1 in 13 chance of dying in childbirth. In Western Europe, the risk is 1 in 3,200.

  • At least one in three girls and women worldwide has been beaten or sexually abused in her lifetime.

  • An estimated 450 million adult women in developing countries are stunted, a direct result of malnutrition in early life.

  • Every year, two million girls and women are subjected to female genital mutilation.

The convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), adopted in 1989 and by now ratified by most countries of the world, provide an agenda for action in identifying enduring forms of inequality and discrimination against girls, abolishing practices and traditions detrimental to the fulfillment of their rights and defining an effective strategy to promote and protect those rights. But implementation is necessary to ensure positive changes in the region so far. Other than the CRC, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), ratified by 163 countries, is the most extensive and widely ratified international agreement promoting the rights of girls and women. This convention, while drawing on international human rights treaties, is a separate and distinct convention addressing the rights of women. It clarifies the negative consequences of discrimination and seeks full equality between men and women regardless of marital status, in all fields of political, economic, social and cultural life. States that have ratified the convention must take concrete steps, such as enacting laws, establishing women's rights commissions and creating conditions to ensure that the human rights of girls and women are realized. Their progress is monitored by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. India is also one of the third-world country that is extremely effected the women and girls discrimination, which is infact a hierarchal imposition of patriarchal nation. But, yet to be focus the views more effectively besides, empowering the women and girls in the preceding government. People of the country are proud of being one among the status of super power of the world while, million of people are victimized by the money hunter baseless psycho-political elite group. Millions of people are destitute, millions are orphans, million of children are captivated in factories, thousands of children are performing goon works for a day bread, thousand are pursue to take arms for liberating the occupied territories and still our nation is more and more drawing attention and let flow billions of money in the name of defense and counter insurgency. We see elimination of discrimination against girls and women is far beyond horizon in this generation.

There are four main core principles that define girls' rights. The rights of girls apply equally to all children.

  • Regardless of the background of the child, the parent or the legal guardian, children must not suffer discrimination.

  • Children have a right to life and maximum survival and development in all aspects of their lives.

  • The best interests of the child must be primary consideration in all decisions or actions that affect the child or children as a group.

  • Children have the right to have their views heard and be taken seriously in all matters affecting their lives.

Refining these principles further, countries at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 agreed to:
  1. Eliminate all forms of discrimination against the girl child and the root causes of son preference, which results in harmful and unethical practices regarding female infanticide and sex selection before birth;
  2. Increase public awareness of the value of the girl child and at the same time strengthen the self-image, self-esteem and status of the girl child;
  3. Improve the welfare of the girl child, especially in regards to health, nutrition and education.

People are less aware that why we need our views to be focus to the girls more than ever. We are in a dying end of the hour, men are much more active many centuries old, than women and girls, their activeness and masculinity has dominated the women and girls in the regions for millennia, and still the consequences and impact is yet facing only by women or girls. We have seen how much women and girls are living in a shameful human dignity when men are actively play a part in everything legitimately though is illogical or irrational in reality. We should not make confuse or ambiguous in discriminating women, no doubt girls faces the same humiliation. We can't self-esteem by enunciating a few women, who took associates in society freely. It is not that, we are living with dignity by remembering the women wars and women's contribution in the regions in fractions, but it is that we are miles to step forward against discrimination against women and girls.

"In instances of sectarian or communal strife or in anti-state movements, the experiences of women are hauntingly similar, durable and dismaying in their repetitiveness. Honour, victory, triumph, revenge are played out on their bodies. Men face violence and humiliation at the hands of the enemy to emerge as heroes and martyrs. Women face violence and humiliation at the hands of the enemy, and then as "objects of shame", outcastes within their homes and communities. This difference in treatment is embedded in the patriarchal ideology of family, community and state" (Nationhood and gender during partition, MWSA, p.124). We should clearly trace down to the articles of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It obviously concluded that "the full and complete development of a country, the welfare of the world and the cause of peace require the maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields"




* Loya Maisnam, a Freelance Journalist with an Imphal based Vernacular Daily (Kangla-Pao) writes regularly for e-pao.net. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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