A collective obligation to empower the girl child

A collective obligation to empower the girl child
Students participating in slogan writing during the seminar held on September 25.


Seminar on `Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojhana’ held at Mt Carmel School, Longleng


Morung Express News
Longleng | September 25


A one day seminar on the `Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojhana’ was held at Mt. Carmel School, Longleng on September 25.


The seminar was organised for the girl students from class 7 to 10 and also for the mothers with Akangjungla from The Morung Express as the resource person. It was organized with the objectives to raise awareness on girl child empowerment through the medium of education and “celebrating the birth of a girl child and being proud of them just as we are about our boys.”


The speaker focused on the objectives of the ‘Beti Bachao Aeti Padhao’ scheme which was introduced by the Government of India in the year 2015 after recognizing that “coordinated and convergent efforts are needed to ensure survival, protection and empowerment of the girl child.” The core objectives of this scheme are: Prevention of gender biased sex selective elimination: Ensuring survival protection of the girl child; Ensuring education and participation of the girl child.


Based on interactions in the context of Longleng town, the speaker highlighted some common problems identified in general related to girl child and women. It was pointed out that financial problem was one of the major concerns which leads to gender discrimination and in such cases “most of the children in the families cannot continue their studies or they either end up studying in government Schools.


This also encourages the preference of male child to get education while the girl child is often not given the same privilege due to financial restraints. It was also identified that in some cases, there is a disparity in the quality of education due to unawareness and illiterate parents.


Stressing on the importance of education, the speaker shared that educated women and girls have better opportunities and life choices; they have a greater voice in family and community affairs and more likely to participate in decision making; they have better job opportunities and are more able to contribute to the family income; educated mothers are more likely to send all their children to school; educated girls have healthier pregnancies, resulting in lower maternal mortality rates etc.


Referring to the global goals set by the United Nation and partners including the UN Foundation to celebrate International Day of the Girl on October 11 and the extraordinary power of girls in our world, the speaker reaffirmed that, “It’s her right. More than an issue of gender, this is a human rights issue and every girl has the right to go to school, stay safe from violence, access health services and fully participate in her community.”


She stated that educated and empowered girls build healthier families, become an important key to breaking the cycle of poverty for families by investing back into her family and also strengthens economies and therefore it should be the heart of every human kind to support this cause.


“More than anything else, educating, and empowering a girl child is the right thing to do and therefore we have the collective obligation to guard her rights and support her welfare,” she stated in conclusion.


As part of the seminar a practical exercise was conducted to make an assessment and anaylse on the subject matter with women participants from the age group of 12 to 43 years.


The youngest participant, Lemla (name changed) stated that a male child is preferred in the family and society because he earns more money. She also cited that the main cause for declining sex ratio is due to literacy, unawareness and social belief.


While majority of the girls students stated that to stop gender preference of child, the solution would be “increase awareness in schools, churches etc,” some added that measures like fixed limit to the number of children in the family; preventing use of sex-selection technologies etc can also help.


Sanu (name changed), a 22 year old young mother who believes that selective child abortion is wrong, agreed that “getting education will help to make the decision and also “a girl child should get equal opportunities in all fields.”
The oldest participant, 43 year old Yashila (name changed) was of the opinion that to bring change and to empower girl child, both male and females should be treated as equal; there should be support for girls in crisis; and also demand the authorities concerned for health services.


The girl students also participated in slogan writing based on the theme of girl child empowerment.


Earlier, the programme was chaired by Talienla. Invocation was by Temsunaro while recitation of a poem dedicated to every girl child titled ‘Bouquet of Flowers’ was done by Ayen.


The welcome address was delivered by Amenla T Imsong, Headmistress; song presentation by Chubum, a short skit by class 7 students and benediction by Manphen. The seminar concluded with light refreshment.