MUMBAI: UNICEF Maharashtra organized a meet-up for children and adolescents to highlight girls’ rights ahead of the International Day of the Girl Child. The event, held at the UNICEF Mumbai office, aimed to foster discussions on the status quo and potential solutions for raising awareness about girls’ rights and empowering children and youth to advocate for their own rights. The event featured renowned actress Mithila Palkar, who interacted with the students and shared her experiences of growing up without facing gender inequality at home.
The event was aligned with this year’s theme, “Invest in Girls’ Rights- Our Leadership, Our Well-being,” and addressed the critical issue of the climate crisis, underscoring the profound impact it has on children’s rights, particularly those of girls. Participants also discussed the role of boys and men in advancing gender equality and why gender equality is vital for a country’s progress.
Students from diverse backgrounds and institutions, including PRATYeK (Nine is mine), Citizens Association for Child Rights (CACR), as well as IIT Bombay, Whistling Woods International, and Sophia College (autonomous), actively participated in the meet-up. The event concluded with a pledge made by all the participants to combat gender discriminatory practices in their homes, educational institutions, among their peers, and within their communities.
Rajalakshmi Nair, Chief Field Office (AI), UNICEF Maharashtra said “I find it heartening that adolescents & young people are actively discussing and advocating for the rights of girls. It’s inspiring to see them express their opinion about gender equality. While the government, policymakers, and the social sector have made substantial efforts to improve the situation, there is still much work to be done to ensure the well-being of girls in the areas of health, nutrition, education and skills, gender-based violence, and prevention of child marriage. We need to bring more voices of adolescents and young people to start the dialogue and conversation around gender equality.”
Despite significant strides in gender equality, girls continue to face formidable challenges across various aspects of life, including health, education, gender-based violence, and equal opportunities. UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, UNICEF works for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.