Sunday, April 26, 2015

With girls, for girls



Girls’ rights play a critical role in realizing a transformative development agenda. When the rights of girls are recognized, their needs met, and their voices amplified, girls have the potential to drive change in their local communities, nations, and the world. Investing in girls is smart economics1, catalyzing sustainable development, enhancing productivity, and building more representative institutions and policies. In looking ahead to the Post-2015 Agenda, empowered girls are central to every sustainable solution.
The Working Group on Girls at the United Nations (WGG) is a coalition of 80 international organizations working directly with girls around the world. In the Post-2015 Agenda, the WGG:
Affirms the consensus on goals related to girls in the UN reports2 that emerged from global consultations contributing to the Post-2015 Global Development Agenda,
Supports the report published by UN Women3 advocating specific gender targets in the Post- 2015 Agenda, and
Welcomes the attention to girls issues in the Secretary Generals Report to the UN General Assembly, A Life of Dignity for All: Accelerating Progress Towards the Millennium Development Goals and Advancing the United Nations Development Agenda Beyond 2015.4
The WGG calls for a stand-alone goal for girls, and proposes the following targets and indicators:
GOAL: EMPOWER GIRLS AND ENSURE GIRLS’ RIGHTS AND GENDER EQUALITY Target 1: Implement the full spectrum of girls’ human rights
a) Guarantee girls rights according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Section L The Girl Child of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
b) Eliminate discrimination against girls in political, economic and public life.
c) Facilitate girls participation and decision-making on issues that affect them. d) Ensure the equal rights of girls to inherit property and open a bank account.
Target 2: Eradicate violence and the root causes of violence against girls
a) Challenge discriminatory social norms and attitudes, and establish violence prevention programs.
b) Eliminate domestic violence against girls.
c) Create laws that reject the commodification of girls bodies by the media and local socialization.
d) Monitor law enforcement response to crimes of rape and domestic abuse against girls.
e) Change laws that allow child, early and forced marriage.
f) Support governments and communities to put an end to female genital mutilation. g) Eliminate crimes against women and girls committed in the name of honor.
h) End the trafficking of girls, and provide protection and assistance to victims. i) Abolish girls heavy and unpaid work burden.
j) Eradicate poverty.
Target 3: Provide quality education and lifelong learning
a) Enforce universal birth registration, particularly for girl children.
b) Ensure the access and completion of girls education from primary through secondary, and provide equal access to tertiary education and career training.
c) Ensure the quality of all education (including science, technology, engineering, and math)
by proper teacher training, girls safe travel to school, and provision of sanitary facilities.
d) Guarantee that girls access to schools is facilitated by necessary infrastructure and funding mechanisms (such as investments in a rights-based social protection floor).
e) Free girls from undue responsibilities for household labor.
f) Create venues that allow girls to prepare themselves for effective participation in family and community life.
Target 4: Ensure Healthy Lives
a) Eliminate sex selection.
b) End preventable infant and under age 5 deaths by providing access to clean drinking water, nutritious food, sanitation and access to community based quality health services
c) Ensure the universal vaccination of all children, including girls.
d) End girls maternal mortality by ensuring that girls are not forced into early marriage, and that a birth attendant assists every mother.
e) Reduce the burden of disease from HIV/AIDS by universal provision of ARV drugs.
f) Prioritize accessibility of medications to prevent polio, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, including medical attention for non-communicable diseases.

In addition to the issues above, particular attention should be paid to:
I. Girls in conflict zones, refugee camps, in transit during migration
We call for an end to the impunity, which prolongs rape as a weapon of war, and the impunity that results in human trafficking and rampant abuse of refugee and migrant girls, especially domestic workers. Laws
must be implemented; funds allocated for prevention, and law enforcement needs specialized training to recognize girls in these instances.
II. Girls who are heads of households
Families who have suffered HIV/AIDS deaths of parents or other medical emergencies, which result in the need for adult long term care often leave girls as heads of households. While there are many instances
of remarkable resilience and leadership of girls in these situations, they are in need of support and a life of childhood to the extent that is possible.
III. Girls with differing abilities
Any persons with “disabilities” are valuable human beings and deserve a life of dignity. It is incumbent that they be provided with medical care, education, and decent work to the extent that this is possible.

Copyright © WGG March 2014

1 World Bank, “Investing in Girls and Women for a More Prosperous World”
2 High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (Post-2015 HLP); UN Sustainable Development
Solutions Network (SDSN); UN Global Compact (UNGC); UN Development Group (UNDG): The Global Conversation Begins
3 A Transformative Stand-Alone Goal on Achieving Gender Equality, Women’s Rights and Women’s Empowerment:
Imperatives and Key Components

4 A/68/202

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