At a global level, an alarming number of girls live in situations of violence as a consequence of entrenched gender inequalities and discrimination against their contributions and their rights.
Some of the factors of discrimination, apart from the fact of being born a girl, that can exponentially increase the vulnerability of girls are: poverty, race, ethnicity, the situation of forced migration, amongst others.
Violence against girls can occur in the family, in the community, at work and in educational institutions. For example, according to the Executive Summary “Girls Free from Violence”, published by Entreculturas, in the early years of childhood, before the age of 5, girls can suffer abuse at home due to violent forms of discipline and also through exposure to stressful or traumatic situations caused by physical, emotional or sexual violence, the latter usually perpetrated against mothers.
From age 5 onwards, girls who can access an education are exposed to new forms of violence in educational institutions, such as: physical violence, harassment and even sexual violence by teachers and their peers. These types of violence involve serious consequences in their neuronal development, which could eventually affect their learning and the development of their personality.
“VIOLENCE is not a natural behavior, but a socially learned attitude.” Many of these types of violence are the result of the use of harmful practices, which, despite being discriminatory and violent, are still carried out in many societies globally. The aforementioned Executive Summary proposes an in-depth analysis of some harmful practices that overshadow the lives of millions of girls around the world, such as genital mutilation and early marriage.
In this video Iklas Saleh Ali shares her testimony. She tells us how she was forced to marry at age 15 and to drop out of school due to her mother’s economic situation.
MORE THAN 750 MILLION women currently living all around the world were married as girls (under 18 years of age). Each year 12 MILLION girls are married before they turn 18″. Source: Executive Summary “Girls Free from Violence “, Entreculturas.
It is the responsibility of all people to transform the discriminatory and violent values that are seen in our social structures and that continue to fuel violence against girls.
All of us who are part of this global community can and must work together, not only to promote the right to education, but also to STAND WITH GIRLS and make their voices heard throughout the planet..
On behalf of Educate Magis, Entreculturas and Friends of Fe y Alegría US we invite you to raise awareness, reflect and act, together with your students, against violence toward girls around the world by implementing the Global Project “Stand With Girls” (30 voices – 1 video)
There are three stages in the project:
1st Raise Awareness. We have shared with you 7 lesson plans and 4 videos that you can use for the awareness raising stage. For example What is Inequality? (Lesson Plan for 5-8 year old students) or Gender and Stereotypes (Lesson Plan for 16-18 year old students)
2nd Reflect. After raising awareness, we propose to facilitate a deep reflection, together with your students, about the consequences of this reality.
3rd Take Action. After raising awareness and reflecting, we propose you to take action with your students, transforming what you have learnt into a video. Select one or two students, who wish to share their reflections, record them and share the short video with Educate Magis so they can be part of the Global Video to Stand with Girls that will be promoted globally for International Girls’ Day.
Education is a fundamental path towards the eradication of violence against girls, let’s be part of the change “SCHOOL must serve to eradicate the idea that biological differences determine social differences.” Now it’s your turn!
To see more information on how to participate visit the Stand with Girls Project.
If you have questions, share them in the conversation “Stand with Girls!” or leave your comments at the end of this article.