UN HOPE We can assure THEM

International Day of the Girl Child

Friends Congratulations! to All. 11 Oct. was International Day of Girl Child to conscious us our Duty+ Responsibilities for them & how they’ll grow up as the best next generation. But have we taken any executive role, preserving their sound Physical, Mental & Spiritual Health based on highest “Total Health Solution” regularly. Pls share what can we do together for the same for the greater interest of Humankind-Environment-Next generation & MDG initiatives, assuring their access to Education, Nutrition, Legal Rights, Medical care for sound triple health, up-to-date Social Safety and protection from Discrimination, Violence and unfree Child Marriage

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl. The observation supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence and unfree child marriage. 

 

History---The International Day of the Girl Child initiative began as a project of Plan International,

a non-governmental organization that operates worldwide. The idea for an international day of observance and celebration grew out of Plan International's Because I Am a Girl campaign, which raises awareness of the importance of nurturing girls globally and in developing countries in particular. Plan International representatives in Canada approached the Canadian federal government to seek support for the initiative.[1] A coalition of supporters raised awareness of the initiative internationally. International Day of the Girl Child was formally proposed as a resolution by Canada in the United Nations General Assembly. Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister for the Status of Women, sponsored the resolution; a delegation of women and girls made presentations in support of the initiative at the 55th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly voted to pass a resolution adopting October 11, 2012 as the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child.[2] The resolution states that the Day of the Girl recognizes…. The empowerment of and investment in girls, which are critical for economic growth, the achievement of all Millennium Development Goals, including the eradication of poverty and extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them, are key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of their human rights, and recognizing also that empowering girls requires their active participation in decision-making processes and the active support and engagement of their parents, legal guardians, families and care providers, as well as boys and men and the wider community

Events worldwide--Various events to promote the Day of the Girl are planned in several countries. Some are sponsored by the United Nations, such as a concert in Mumbai, India.[4] Non-governmental organizations, such as the Girl Guides Australia, are supporting events and activities for International Day of the Girl Child.[5] Local organizations have developed their own events, such as Girls and Football South Africa, who will distribute t-shirts on International Day of the Girl Child to commemorate the 1956 Black Sash march by 20,000 women.[6]

Girl
A girl is any female human from birth through childhood and adolescence to attainment of adulthood when she becomes a woman. The term may also be used to mean a young woman. The word is also often used as a synonym for daughter.

Slightly more boys are born than girls (in the US this ratio is about 105 boys born for every 100 girls), but girls are slightly less likely to die than boys, during childhood, so that the ratio for under 15 years of age is 104 boys for every 100 girls. Since the 18th century the human sex ratio has been observed as about 1,050 boys for every 1,000 girls born and sex selection on the part of parents further lessens the number of female births. While patriarchal beliefs have led to female infanticide (the killing of female infants) since ancient times,it is a persistent practice in some regions of the world today. It is a significant problem in India and China in particular. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) State of the World Population Report indicates that these practices, combined with neglect, have resulted in at least 60 million "missing" girls in Asia. Large numbers of adult women are absent from the population in some regions, a consequence of female infanticide during recent decades.

Census information shows the problem is worsening. In India overall, by 2011, there were little more than 9 girls younger than 6 years old for every 10 boys. The 2011 census showed that the ratio of girls to boys under the age of 6 years old has dropped even during the past decade, from 927 girls for every 1000 boys in 2001 to 918 girls for every 1000 boys in 2011. Maharashtra state's ratio is 883 girls, and Satara is even lower at 881. Hospitals in India are banned from giving out the gender of an unborn fetus to prevent sex-selection abortions, although evidence indicates that the information is often revealed.[7] Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute in Washington, D.C. has said: "Twenty-five million men in China currently can’t find brides because there is a shortage of women [...] young men emigrate overseas to find brides." The gender imbalance in these regions is also blamed for spurring growth in the commercial sex trade; the UN's 2005 report states that up to 800,000 people being trafficked across borders each year, and as many as 80 percent are women and girls.
An Indian girl from Bangalore ---Girls develop female characteristics by inheriting two X chromosomes (XX), one from each parent.
About one in a thousand girls have a 47,XXX karyotype, and one in 2500 have a 45,X one. Girls typically have a female reproductive system. Some intersex children with ambiguous genitals, and genetically male transgender children, may also be classified or self-identify as girls. Girls' bodies undergo gradual changes during puberty. Puberty is the process of physical changes by which a child's body matures into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction to enable fertilisation. It is initiated by hormonal signals from the brain to the gonads. In response to the signals, the gonads produce hormones that stimulate libido and the growth, function, and transformation of the brain, bones, muscle, blood, skin, hair, breasts, and sexual organs. Physical growth—height and weight—accelerates in the first half of puberty and is completed when the child has developed an adult body. Until the maturation of their reproductive capabilities, the pre-pubertal, physical differences between boys and girls are the genitalia, the penis and the vagina. Puberty is a process that usually takes place between the ages 10–16, but these ages differ from girl to girl. The major landmark of girls' puberty is menarche, the onset of menstruation, which occurs on average between ages 12–13.

Gender and environment:

A girl plays with paper dolls. Biological sex interacts with environment in ways not fully understood.  Biological sex interacts with environment in ways not fully understood.[15] Identical twin girls separated at birth and reunited decades later have shown both startling similarities and differences.[16] In 2005 Kim Wallen of Emory University noted, "I think the 'nature versus nurture' question is not meaningful, because it treats them as independent factors, whereas in fact everything is nature and nurture." Wallen said gender differences emerge very early and come about through an underlying preference males and females have for their chosen activities

Gender and environment:
A girl plays with paper dolls. Biological sex interacts with environment in ways not fully understood.  Biological sex interacts with environment in ways not fully understood.[15] Identical twin girls separated at birth and reunited decades later have shown both startling similarities and differences.[16] In 2005 Kim Wallen of Emory University noted, "I think the 'nature versus nurture' question is not meaningful, because it treats them as independent factors, whereas in fact everything is nature and nurture." Wallen said gender differences emerge very early and come about through an underlying preference males and females have for their chosen activities

 

Girls' education

School girls in AfghanistanGirls' equal access to education has been achieved in some countries, but there are significant disparities in the majority. There are gaps in access between different regions and countries and even within countries. Girls account for 60 per cent of children out of school in Arab countries and 66 per cent of non-attendees in South and West Asia; however, more girls than boys attend schools in many countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, North America and Western Europe.[17] Research has measured the economic cost of this inequality to developing countries: Plan International’s analysis shows that a total of 65 low, middle income and transition countries fail to offer girls the same secondary school opportunities as boys, and in total, these countries are missing out on annual economic growth of an estimated $92 billion. Although the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has asserted "primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all" girls are slightly less likely to be enrolled as students in primary and secondary schools (70%:74% and 59%:65%). Worldwide efforts have been made to end this disparity (such as through the Millennium Development Goals) and the gap has closed since 1990.[18]----Educational environment and expectations--According to Kim Wallen, expectations will nonetheless play a role in how girls perform academically. For example, if females skilled in math are told a test is "gender neutral" they achieve high scores, but if they are told males outperformed females in the past, the females will do much worse. "What’s strange is," Wallen observed, "according to the research, all one apparently has to do is tell a woman who has a lifetime of socialization of being poor in math that a math test is gender neutral, and all effects of that socialization go away."[19] Author Judith Harris has said that aside from their genetic contribution, the nurturing provided by parents likely has less long-term influence over their offspring than other environmental aspects such as the children's peer group.

Violence against girls :

Violence against girls, related to traditional social norms and customs, such son-preference and expectation of a dowry, is common in South Asia. In many parts of the world, girls are at risk of specific forms of violence and abuse, such as female genital mutilation, child marriage, dowry related violence, child sexual abuse, honor killings. In parts of the world, especially in South Asia, girls are unwanted as children, and, as such, they are often abused, mistreated or abandoned by their parents and relatives.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as "all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."[27] It is practiced mainly in 28 countries in western, eastern, and north-eastern Africa, particularly Egypt and Ethiopia, and in parts of Asia and the Middle East.[28] FGM is most often carried out on young girls aged between infancy and 15 years.

Child marriages, where girls are married at young ages (often forced and often to much older husbands) remain common in many parts of the world. According to the UN, child marriages are most common in rural sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The ten countries with the highest rates of child marriage are: Niger, Chad, Central African Republic, Bangladesh, Guinea, Mozambique, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, and Malawi.  The marriage custom of dowry (prevalent in South Asia) is responsible for many violent acts perpetrated on girls. A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a wife brings to a marriage.[31] Disputes related to dowry often result in domestic violence, such as dowry deaths.

Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a form of child abuse in which an adult or older adolescent uses a child for sexual stimulation.[32][33] In Western countries CSA is considered a serious crime, but in many parts of the world there is a tacit tolerance of the practice. CSA can take many forms, one of which is child prostitution. Child prostitution is the commercial sexual exploitation of children in which a child performs the services of prostitution, for financial benefit. It is estimated that each year at least one million children, mostly girls, become prostitutes.  Child prostitution is common in many parts of the world, especially in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia), and many adults from wealthy countries travel to these regions to engage in child sex tourism. In many parts of the world, girls who are deemed to have tarnished the 'honor' of their families by refusing arranged marriages, having premarital sex, dressing in ways deemed inappropriate or even becoming the victims of rape, are at risk of honor killing by their families.

International initiatives for girls' rights

Girl in Vietnam.---The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1988) and Millennium Development Goals (2000) promoted better access to education for all girls and boys and to eliminate gender disparities at both primary and secondary level. Worldwide school enrolment and literacy rates for girls have improved continuously. 2005, global primary net enrolment rates were 85 per cent for girls, up from 78 per cent 15 years earlier; at the secondary level, girls’ enrolment increased 10 percentage points to 57 per cent over the same period.    A number of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have created programs focussing on addressing disparities in girls' access to such necessities as food, healthcare and education. CAMFED is one organization active in providing education to girls in sub-Saharan Africa. PLAN International's "Because I am a Girl" campaign is a high-profile example of such initiatives. PLAN's research has shown that educating girls can have a powerful ripple effect, boosting the economies of their towns and villages; providing girls with access to education has also been demonstrated to improve community understanding of health matters, reducing HIV rates, improving nutritional awareness, reducing birthrates and improving infant health. Research demonstrates that a girl who has received an education will:

·         Earn up to 25 percent more and reinvest 90 percent in her family.

·         Be three times less likely to become HIV-positive.

·         Have fewer, healthier children who are 40 percent more likely to live past the age of five.

Plan International also created a campaign to establish an International Day of the Girl. The goals of this initiative are to raise global awareness of the unique challenges facing girls, as well as the key role they have in addressing larger poverty and development challenges. A delegation of girls from Plan Canada introduced the idea to Rona Ambrose, Canada's Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, at the 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women at United Nations Headquarters in February 2011. In March 2011, Canada's Parliament unanimously adopted a motion requesting that Canada take the lead at the United Nations in the initiative to proclaim an International Day of the Girl.[37] The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted an International Day of the Girl Child on December 19, 2011. The first International Day of the Girl Child is October 11, 2012.

Its most recent research has led PLAN International to identify a need to coordinate projects that address boys' roles in their communities, as well as finding ways of including boys in activities that reduce gender discrimination. Since political, religious and local community leaders are most often men, men and boys have great influence over any effort to improve girls' lives and achieve gender equality. PLAN International's 2011 Annual Report points out that men have more influence and may be able to convince communities to curb early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) more effectively than women. Egyptian religious leader Sheikh Saad, who has campaigned against the practice, is quoted in the report: “We have decided that our daughter will not go through this bad, inhumane experience -- I am part of the change.”

The Time Of The Lilacs, by Sophie Gengembre Anderson.

Historically, art and literature in Western culture has portrayed girls as symbols of innocence, purity, virtue and hope. Egyptian murals included sympathetic portraits of young girls who were daughters of royalty. Sappho's poetry carries love poems addressed to girls.

 

Girls' education --In Ancient Egypt, the princess Neferure grew up under the reign of her mother, the woman Pharaoh Hatshepsut, who had inherited the throne after the death of her husband Thutmose II. Women in Ancient Egypt had a relatively high status in society, and as the daughter of the pharaoh, Neferura was provided with the best education possible. Her tutors were the most trusted advisors of her mother. She grew up to take on an important role by taking on the duties of a queen while her mother was pharaoh.[39] Despite the fact that women and men had a great deal of equality in Ancient Egypt, there were still important divisions in gender roles. Men worked as scribes for the government, for example, whereas women would often work at occupations tied to the home, such as farming, baking bread and brewing beer; however, a large number of women, particularly from the upper classes, worked in business and traded at markets, as perfumers, and some women also worked in temples. For this reason, girls' and boys' education differed. Boys could attend formal schools to learn how to read, write, and do math, while girls would be educated at home to learn the occupations of their mothers. Some women did become literate and were scholars.

 

The future Elizabeth I of England at age 13 years.----Girls' formal education has traditionally been considered far less important than that of boys. In Europe, exceptions were rare before the printing press and the Reformation made literacy more widespread. One notable exception to the general neglect of girls' literacy is Queen Elizabeth I. In her case, as a child she was in a precarious position as a possible heir to the throne, and her life was in fact endangered by the political scheming of other powerful members of the court. Following the execution of her mother, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth was considered illegitimate. Her education was for the most part ignored by Henry VIII. Remarkably, Henry VIII's widow, Catherine Parr, took an interest in the high intelligence of Elizabeth, and supported the decision to provide her with an impressive education after Henry's death, starting when Elizabeth was 9.[42] Elizabeth received an education equal to that of a prominent male aristocrat; she was educated in Latin, Greek, Spanish, French, philosophy, history, mathematics and music. England reaped the reward of her rich education when circumstances resulted in her becoming a capable monarch.

 

By the 18th century, Europeans recognized the value of literacy, and schools were opened to educate the public in growing numbers. Education in the Age of Enlightenment in France led to up to a third of women becoming literate by the time of the French Revolution, contrasting with roughly half of men by that time. However, education was still not considered as important for girls as for boys, who were being trained for professions that remained closed to women, and girls were not admitted to secondary level schools in France until the late 19th century. Girls were not entitled to receive a Baccalaureate diploma in France until the reforms of 1924 under education minister Léon Bérard. Schools were segregated in France until the end of World War II. Since then, compulsory education laws have raised the education of girls and young women throughout Europe.

Preparing girls for marriage:

Cooking class at a girls' school in Jerusalem, c.1936. Girls' upbringing and education was traditionally focused on preparing them to be future wives

In many ancient societies, girls' upbringing had much to do with preparing them to be future wives. In many cultures, it was not the norm for women to be economically independent. Thus, where a girl's future well-being depended upon marrying her to a man who was economically self-sufficient, it was crucial to prepare her to meet whatever qualities or skills were popularly expected of wives. In cultures ranging from Ancient Greece to the 19th century United States, girls have been taught such essential domestic skills as sewing, cooking, gardening, and basic hygiene and medical care such as preparing balms and salves, and in some cases midwife skills. These skills would be taught from generation to generation, with the knowledge passed down orally from mother to daughter. A well-known reference to these important women's skills is in the folk tale Rumpelstiltskin, which dates back to Medieval Germany and was collected in written form by the folklorists the Brothers Grimm. The miller's daughter is valued as a potential wife because of her reputation for being able to spin straw into gold.

In some parts of China, beginning in the Southern Tang kingdom in Nanjing (937-975), the custom of foot binding was associated with upper class women who were worthy of a life of leisure, and husbands who could afford to spare them the necessity of work (which would require the ability to be mobile and spend the day on their feet). Because of this belief, parents hoping to ensure a good marriage for their daughters would begin binding their feet from about the age of seven years old to achieve the ideal appearance. The tinier the feet, the better the social rank of a future husband. This practice did not end until the early years of the 20th century… China has had many customs tied to girls and their roles as future wives and mothers. According to one custom, a girl's way of wearing her hair would indicate her marital status. An unmarried girl would wear her hair in two "pigtails", and once married, she would wear her hair in one.[46]

In some cultures, girls' passing through puberty is viewed with concern for a girl's chastity. In some communities, there is a traditional belief that female genital mutilation is a necessity to prevent a girl from becoming sexually promiscuous. The practice is dangerous, however, and leads to long-term health problems for women who have undergone it. The practice has been a custom in 28 countries of Africa, and persists mainly in rural areas. This coming-of-age custom, sometimes incorrectly described as "female circumcision", is being outlawed by governments, and challenged by human rights groups and other concerned community members, who are working to end the practice. Child marriages were common in human history. Above is the portrait of Princess Emilia of Saxony, in 1532, at age 16 married Georg Hohenzollern

Child marriage is defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18.  While child marriage is observed for both boys and girls, disproportionately most affected worldwide are girls. It is related to child betrothal and unmarried teenage pregnancy.

In some cases only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female, due to importance placed upon female virginity. Other causes of child marriage include poverty, bride price, dowry, laws that allow child marriages, religious and social pressures, regional customs, fear of remaining unmarried, and perceived inability of women to work for money. Child marriage was common in human history. Today child marriages are fairly widespread in parts of the world, especially in Africa,South Asia, Southeast and East Asia, West Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. The incidence rates of child marriage have been falling in most parts of the world. The five nations with the highest observed rates of child marriages in the world, below the age of 18, are: Niger, Chad, Mali, Bangladesh and Guinea. Top three nations with greater than 20% rates of child marriages below the age of 15, are: Niger, Bangladesh and Guinea….

Causes of child marriage :

 

Dowry and brideprice :  Dowry is the parental property that is distributed to a daughter at her marriage, instead of after parent's death. It has been an ancient practice, but often an economic challenge for the bride's family. The difficulty to save and preserve wealth for dowry was common, particularly in times of economic hardship, or persecution, or unpredictable seizure of property and savings for discriminatory taxes such as Jizya. These difficulties pressed families to betroth their girl, irrespective of her age, as soon as they had the resources to pay the dowry. Thus, Goitein notes that European Jews would marry their girls early, once they had collected the expected amount of dowry….Bride price is the price paid by the groom to the parents of a bride in order to marry their daughter. In some countries, the younger the bride, the higher the price she may fetch.[25] This practice creates an economic incentive where young girls are sought and married early by her family to the highest bidder. Child marriages of girls is a way out of desperate economic conditions, or simply a source of income to the parents.[26][27][28] Bride price is another cause of child marriage and child trafficking….

 

Persecution, forced migration, and slavery : Social upheavals such as wars, major military campaigns, forced religious conversion, taking natives as prisoners of war and converting them into slaves, arrest and forced migrations of people often made a suitable groom a rare commodity. Bride's families would seek out any available bachelors and marry them to their daughters, before events beyond their control moved the boy away. Persecution and displacement of Roma and Jewish people in Europe, colonial campaign to get slaves from various ethnic groups in West Africa across Atlantic for plantations, Islamic campaign to get Hindu slaves from India across Afghanistan's Hindu Kush as property and for work, were some of the historical events that increased the practice of child marriage before 19th century….A New York Times report and other scholars claim the origin of child marriages in India to be Muslim invasions that began more than 1,000 years ago. The invaders raped unmarried Hindu girls or carried them off as booty, prompting Hindu communities to marry off their daughters early to protect them.[36][37][38] Similarly, among Sephardi Jewish communities, child marriages became frequent from 10th to 13th century as Muslim invasion and rule spread in Spain. This practice intensified after the Jewish community was expelled from Spain, and resettled in Ottoman Islamic region. Child marriages among the Eastern Sephardic Jews continued through the 19th century in Islamic majority regions…..
Fear, poverty and social pressures :
English stage actress Ellen Terry was married at age 16 to George Frederic Watts who was 46 year old, a marriage her parents thought would be advantageous; later she said she was uncomfortable being a child bride. Terry passed away at the age of 81, in 1928. A sense of social insecurity has been a cause of child marriages across the world. For example, in Nepal, parents fear likely social stigma if grown-up adult girls (past 18 years) stay at home. Other fear of crime such as rape, which not only would be traumatic but may lead to less acceptance of the girl if she becomes victim of a crime.[42] In other cultures, the fear is that an unmarried girl may engage in illicit relationships,[43] or elope causing a permanent social blemish to her siblings, or that the impoverished family may be unable to find bachelors for grown up girls in their economic social group. Such fears and social pressures have been proposed as causes that lead to child marriages.Extreme poverty, in many cases, makes teenage girls feel like an economic burden to a poor family; early marriage is a way to reduce that economic burden.[44] Poor parents have few alternatives they can afford for the girls in the family, and often view child marriage as a means to ensure their daughter’s financial security and to reduce the economic burden of a growing adult on the family. In reviews of Jewish community history, scholars  claim poverty, shortage of grooms, uncertain social and economic conditions were a cause for frequent child marriages.
Religion, civil law and child marriage : 
The laws in many countries allow child marriages, that is the marriage of girls and boys less than 18 years of age. The minimum legally approved age of marriage is less than 15 in some countries. Such laws are neither limited to developing countries, nor to state religion. In Europe, for example, the canon law at the Vatican sets 14 as the minimu m age for the marriage of girls…. as does Spain with a legal guardian's permission.[52] In North America, girls can be legally married at age 15 in Mexico. Canada and many states in the USA permit child marriages, with court's permission. Lower legally allowed marriage age does not necessarily cause high rates of child marriages. However, there is a correlation between restrictions placed by laws and the average age of first marriage. In the United States, per 1960 Census data, 3.5% of girls married before the age of 16, while an additional 11.9% married between 16 and 18. States with lower marriage age limits saw higher percentages of child marriages.[15] This correlation between higher age of marriage in civil law and observed frequency of child marriages breaks down in countries with Islam as the state religion. In Islamic nations, many countries do not allow child marriage of girls under their civil code of laws. But, the state recognized Sharia religious laws and courts in all these nations have the power to override the civil code, and often do. UNICEF reports that the top five nations in the world with highest observed child marriage rates - Niger (75%), Chad (72%), Mali (71%), Bangladesh (64%), Guinea (63%) - are all Islamic majority countries…..

 

Politics and financial relationships

 

  Child marriage in 1697 of Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, age 12 to Louis, heir apparent of France age 15. The marriage created a political alliance.  Child marriages may depend upon socio-economic status. The aristocracy in some cultures, as in the European feudal era tended to use child marriage as a method to secure political ties. Families were able to cement political and/or financial ties by having their children marry.[53] The betrothal is considered a binding contract upon the families and the children. The breaking of a betrothal can have serious consequences both for the families and for the betrothed individuals themselves.

 

Consequences of child marriage : Consequences of child marriage include restricted education and employment prospects, increased risk of domestic violence, child sexual abuse, pregnancy and birth complications, social isolation.

 

 Gender equality, also known as sex equality or sexual equality or equality of the genders, implies that men and women should receive equal treatment, unless there is a sound biological reason for different treatment.[1] This concept is key in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, where the ultimate aim is to provide equality in law and equality in social situations, especially in democratic activities and securing equal pay for equal work. The Equal Rights Amendment in the United States also aims to ensure gender equality. World bodies have defined gender equality in terms of human rights, especially women's rights, and economic development.[12][13] UNICEF describes that gender equality "means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and men, be the same, or that they be treated exactly alike…..

 

The United Nations Population Fund has declared that men and women have a right to equality. "Gender equity" is one of the goals of the United Nations Millennium Project, to end world poverty by 2015; the project claims, "Every single Goal is directly related to women's rights, and societies where women are not afforded equal rights as men can never achieve development in a sustainable manner…. Thus, promoting gender equality is seen as an encouragement to greater economic prosperity. For example, nations of the Arab world that deny equality of opportunity to women were warned in a 2008 United Nations-sponsored report that this disempowerment is a critical factor crippling these nations' return to the first rank of global leaders in commerce, learning and culture.  In 2010, the European Union opened the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) in Vilnius, Lithuania to promote gender equality and to fight sex discrimination.--Edited

 

 

 

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