Hope For the Girl Child
There can be hope for the girl child in terms of a bright future if we can tackle one of the greatest challenges of human existence i.e. the challenge of gender discrimination and bias. Only gender equality with total women empowerment can ensure a safe and secure future for the girl. When women are healthy, educated and free to take , Girls the opportunities of life, they prosper. When women prosper in life the family in turn flourishes and flourishing families with assertive women in charge ensure bright future for the baby girl.
Hope for the girl child: The necessity of strong and healthy women
Children who are the future wealth of a nation can flourish and thrive only when women in the family and the society are healthy, educated and independent in terms of making informed choices about their life. But the situation is far from ideal. Women are facing extreme hardships and marginalization because of gender based discrimination and bias. They are subjected to innumerable forms of violence and hardships. Majority of Women in large parts of the world are weak and are subjected to a life which is totally dependent on others. She faces domestic violence, falls in the trap of commercial sexual exploitation and faces the brunt of harmful traditional practices such as early marriage, premature pregnancy, female genital mutilation etc. The negative consequences of all this is faced by the baby girl. The practice of girl child feticide, infanticide, low enrollment into education, abuse and a life of misery and deprivation is what that is in offering for the girl child when women are weak and they are not able to take care of their children.
Hope for the girl child: Women empowerment and protective home environment
So any optimism for the girl child development and progress depends upon the total empowerment of women. Gender based equality can ensure the resurgence of strong and assertive women and in such circumstances we can see the real flourishing of the baby girl. Totally empowered women will share a relationship of equality with their partner. This in turn will lead to a positive reinforcement where the girl child will be adequately taken care in a secure and protective home environment. We can see that empowerment of women and the girl child is a mutually inclusive phenomenon where the development of women can lead to the development of the girl child and this in turn leads to further empowerment and development of women. In fact such positive cycles once generated will carry on in a continuous manner.
Hope for the girl child: Elimination of child labour
Child labour is one of the main reasons why children don’t go to school and waste their precious childhood. A girl child most often falls prey to child labour in her own home in the sense that she is put into a condition where she has look after all the household chores from a very young age. This curtails any chance of education. In many cases the baby girl is also forced to contribute to the primary means of earning for the family. Therefore either she ends up working as a child labour outside her home or participates in running the household and becomes a hidden child labour. Elimination of child labour often requires innovative income-generating ideas for parents who rely on their children for income. Economic development, training and loans for parents help give children the freedom to enjoy their childhoods and complete their education without exploitation. Elimination of child labour in either of the above mentioned forms is only possible if we can make the family unit viable economically and educate them further to keep their girl child in school.
Hope for the girl child: The Role of government and other structures of society in elimination of child labour
To make the family unit viable economically and give a future to the baby girl, social organizations, government bodies and other structures of the society should work at the ground level and provide facilities or avenues for gainful employment for the parents. This can also include credit and micro level finance facilities to start up small scale enterprises at the local level. These types of facilities to the parents can reduce child labour and ensure the completion of primary and secondary education of the girl child. Empowering parents, especially mothers, with income-generating skills and by providing them with loans for small businesses and market access for their products should be taken up in a massive scale so that we can prevent the young women labour. Education of the parents, the family and the society is also necessary where it has be clearly communicated that the baby girl should go to school and how her education is important for the family and society. Further parental education should also include communication against the repressive customs, traditions and mindset of the society which leads to the discrimination against the baby girl. There should be also some incentives planned to keep the girl child in the school.