By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Minister of Human Services and Social Security Jennifer Webster has called on all Guyanese to ensure that the girl child is treated with utmost respect.
Webster comments come in wake of Inter-national Day of the Girl Child which is being observed by the world today (Saturday, October 11).
“We must always treat our girl children with respect,” she repeated.
According to the Minister, it is a great opportunity to recognize that many young girls are victims of sexual abuse and said everything must be done to protect and help them as opposed to condoning such behaviors.
“Today is a special day for our girls… there are more opportunities in today’s world available to the girl child and they should grasp those opportunities afforded to them, especially in terms of having a good education.
Meanwhile, Webster has joined the world in lauding 17-year-old Pakistani national Malala Yousafzai for copping the 2014 Nobel Prize for Peace, which she shares with children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi.
“Because despite all her struggles in her birth country, she was able to rise above the treat and show that young girls should have courage to fight to achieve their goals and objective.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is lauding Yousafzai.
Yousafzai, the youngest ever Peace Prize winner, was shot in the head by members of the Taliban two years ago, for her role in advocating for education of girls in particular in her Swat Valley home where girls were banned from attending school.
She now lives in Birmingham, England, where she was taken for medical treatment subsequent to the attack.
In a statement denouncing violence against girls, Ban said it “grossly violates their rights, diminishes their power and suppresses their potential”.
He said, too, that unequal access to resources and opportunities compounds the effects of this violence and called for action to “equip girls with the knowledge, skills, resources and power to determine their own path in life.”
Of Yousafzai’s Nobel win, the secretary general called it a “well-deserved recognition”, adding that the UN would continue to “stand with her against extremism and for the right of girls everywhere to be free of violence, to go to school and to enjoy their right to an education”.
The theme for International Day of the Girl Child is: ‘Empowering Adolescent Girls, Ending the Cycle of Violence’.