International Day of the Girl Child

International Day of The Girl Child Source

Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day
aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting
girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights

I came across this write up by Neha Mankani from Mama Baby Fund:

A few days ago I heard a nurse in the labor room casually comment how it was a good day because all of the babies born that day had been boys. I asked her what she meant, and she elaborated by saying when boys are born obviously parents are happier; so naturally loads of boys being born must make it an extremely auspicious day. She was confused about why I would even ask. One of the pregnant women we worked with gives birth to twins-a boy and a girl. She tells me she only has one wrapping sheet so she’s used it to keep her son warm. She also goes on to say she will breastfeed her son and formula feed her daughter so her son is stronger and healthier. Another day, another hospital; a volunteer asks me why a little girl is lying in a bed in the post delivery ward. Its because she’s 15 and has just given birth. A c-section because her body wasn’t physically ready to deliver a baby yet.

October 11th is the day of the girl child. Please do everything in your power to give girls a chance. Speak up against son preference even if you sound like a broken record; question child and forced marriage even where it isn’t your place; work on girls education by volunteering your time, money, voice or other resources. If you feel like you dont know how to help, connect with and support organizations like Aahung, The Citizens Foundation – TCF, Zindagi Trust and Mama Baby Fund that work on all these themes!

This write up has not only saddened and infuriated me but has also moved me deeply. I can’t understand how there is still discrimination between a male child and a female child. Aren’t both of them blessings equally? This actually reminds of the time of Pre-Islamic Arab society where people used to bury their daughters alive as soon as they were born. I myself am a daughter who was born after three sons and my parents were ecstatic. They went about distributing sweets. However, it’s dawning on me now more than ever that I am privileged, Alhamdulillah! I can’t thank Allah swt enough for granting me such loving parents. This is not how it works everywhere. However, This is also not something that stems from Islam.

International Day of The Girl Child 1.jpg

This is an authentic hadith: “The Muslim who has two daughters and he looks after them well, they will lead him to Paradise.” (Bukhari: Al-Adab al-Mufrad).

International Day of The Girl Child 3.jpg

How then can we still discriminate between sons and daughters? The issue of giving preference to sons over daughters is completely cultural. What good does this culture bring to us? 

I’d be happy if this post reaches even one person and brings about a change or at least makes them think about this issue which is still very much prevalent in this day and age.

I hope and pray that people raise their daughters and sons with love, respect, kindness and equality. I also hope and pray that I have a daughter someday so that I can show them how it’s done.

Empowerment of and investment in girls are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights” – United Nations Resolution 

If you would like to contribute to the organizations that are actively working to bring about a change and to end this gender discrimination, please visit the following links:

AahungThe Citizens FoundationZindagi Trust | Mama Baby Fund

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