Jan 24,2022 | 5 min read

National Girl Child Day | Lawyered

24th January every year is celebrated as National Girl Child Day. The present times in comparison to before are more progressive. The daughters today have a share in the property, and are given the same status as that of the son. We have made progress from the times that were riddled with female infanticide and featuesides. Child marriage was another pit in which the daughters were thrown. Efforts have been made by the government to educate the masses and get rid of the  discrimination between daughters and sons. 

National Girl Child Day is celebrated to raise awareness and to empower the daughters of the country. On this day, Indira Gandhi, in the year 1966, was sworn in as the first woman Prime Minister of the country. This day marked a very significant day in the history of India towards the empowerment of women. The significance of the day is to spread awareness about the rights of the girl child to not just the parents but to the society at large. 

There are many women whose contribution and achievement have changed society for the better. These women have left behind such an impact that cannot be forgotten by any of us.

Savitribai Phule is one such woman in the history of India. She and her husband are known for their important role in improving the status of women in the society. She was the first female school teacher in India.

Asima Chatterjee is the first woman  to be awarded a Doctorate of science by an Indian University. Not just that, she also is the first woman to be elected as the General President of Indian Science Congress. She has also contributed to the field of writing and chemistry of natural products etc.

Chandraprabha Saikiani has an extraordinary story as to how she fought all the odds in her life to gain education and uplifted many lives in India through her education. Her significant contribution in the field of education is still popular in Assam. 

Barrier to female education 一

Education is selective for girls - There may be no school fee for government schools but there is always a price that the parents have to pay. The price paid is in the form of school uniform, books, stationary, transport and also the loss of labour that their children would help them with.  Parents in rural areas are often more invested in the education of their sons rather than that of their daughters.

Access to Schools - In remote areas access to schools becomes difficult as the schools are far from where they reside. Because of the commute and expensive transportation, children have to walk down the school and because of the safety of the girls they are not allowed to go to school. In addition to this, the time taken for the commute adds to the loss of time that the children would have spent in helping their parents. 

Safety - Parents are reluctant to send their daughters to school for the reason that they may encounter violence and mistreatment from the society. The other cause of concern is also the fact that most of the schools are co-educational and the society does not always encourage the girls and the boys to be sitting together for any activity.

Cultural norms and expectation - In many rural areas, even if the parents want to send their girl child to school, the society looks down on them for doing so. It is common for the girls to stay at home and help in the duties of the household. Girls are expected to know all the household work so they can in future contribute to the house by becoming good wives. This thought process has to be changed and hence education becomes important. 

Early marriage and pregnancy - Even though child marriage is illegal in India, there are many places where girls are forced to marry at an early age and for this reason, they cannot continue their educcation. Many times, the girl child is not allowed to attend school and to prevent her from going to school, she is married. 


Schemes launched by the government for the education of girls 一 A ray of hope!

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao-

This scheme was launched by the Central Government with the aim to save the girl child and help them in getting education throughout the nation. The main aim of this scheme is to endorse the right of the girl to inherit the property, challenge the gender stereotypes by helping her get education which is the first step towards a progressive society.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna-

This is a scheme that has been launched by the government that helps the parents of the girl child to set up a bank account that helps the parents save money for their daughter’s education and marriage expenses. The parents are eligible to open this account for their daughters who are under the age of 18. The benefit of this scheme is that the rate of interest provided is higher than the usual interest rate. This encourages the parents to not only save more for their girl child but to also invest in their education.

Balika Samriddhi Yojna-

Under this scheme the parents of a girl child are provided monetary assistance. The parents are given a pre-decided sum of money at the time of the birth of the girl child and thereafter also the parents are provided with regular economic support for the education of the girl child up to class X. The eligibility for this scheme is that the parents have to be unable to provide for their child owing to their below poverty line status.

Conclusion-

When girls are given wings, they soar high! 

On National Girl Child Day, we celebrate the achievements of our girls with pride and commit to empowering them with equal opportunities and rights. The world needs women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free. The time has come to nurture and empower girls by providing them with equal chances to grow, discover, and harness their full potential in social, economic, political, scientific, empirical, and other dynamic elements of life. Strong women are needed in the world. Women who will inspire and empower others, as well as love and be loved. Women who are both compassionate and aggressive in their lives. Women with unbreakable willpower.


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