week 23 of 2018

week23Artwork of the Week: Dancing Girl by Dominic Benhura, part of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe permanent’s collection
This week we celebrate the international day of the Girl Child.

The celebration supports girls’ progress everywhere, creating more opportunities for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This inequality includes areas such as right to education, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and child marriages.
Day of the African Child is celebrated on 16 June every year to commemorate the 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa. This day provides an opportunity for Girls Not Brides members to encourage action to address child marriage at the regional, national and local levels.The 2018 theme is “Leave No Child Behind for Africa’s Development.” Check back later for more information on Girls Not Brides‘plans for the day.
There are many issues standing in the way of girls’ progress, and one such issue that is standing in the way of girls’ progress is the issue of child marriage. According to the UN, the data is daunting as one in three girls in developing countries gets married before they turn 18. Girls who are child brides miss out on education, and are more vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, and bear children before they are physically or emotionally prepared.
In some cases religion, combined with traditional culture, is also a key driver of child marriages as girls are often encouraged to marry much older men at a very young age. Child marriage predominantly affects girls who live in poverty and in rural areas. The less education a girl has, the more she is likely to marry during her childhood.
Much more can and needs to be done in empowering women, raising awareness on their rights and advocating for the adoption and implementation policies that create opportunities for the girl child and prohibit and prevent discrimination against the girl child. The girl child is brimming with talent and when we invest in girls’ health, safety, education and rights we empower them to reach for their dreams and build better lives for themselves and their communities.
The image depicts a dancing girl, as its name suggests. The girl seems to be happy and free to express herself through dancing. People usually dance as a way of expressing their joy and freedom and the Dancing Girl is expressing her freedom and happiness.

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