KERALA – Workers supported by Gospel for Asia held rallies and gatherings across the subcontinent in observance of the International Day of the Girl on October 11.
Now in its 25th year, the UNICEF-backed day was initially named the International Day of the Girl Child. The movement calls for a world “where every girl and woman can realize all her rights, such as to live free from violence, to attend and complete school, to choose when and whom she marries, and to earn equal pay for equal work.”
Although the day is observed only once a year, the call to action for the entire global community includes addressing nine elements crucial to improving the health and welfare of young women.
- Eliminate all forms of discrimination against girls.
- Eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls.
- Promote and protect the rights of girls and increase awareness of their needs and potential.
- Eliminate discrimination against girls in education, skills development, and training.
- Eliminate discrimination against girls in health and nutrition.
- Eliminate the economic exploitation of child labor and protect young girls at work.
- Eradicate violence against girls.
- Promote girls’ awareness of and participation in social, economic, and political life.
- Strengthen the role of the family in improving the status of girls.
Gospel for Asia had held each of the action items near to its heart for the entire 40 years of its ministry in South Asia. GFA-supported workers are devoted to and continually engaged in improving living conditions for young girls and women of all ages.
This Day of the Girl, missionaries, pastors, Bridge of Hope centers, and Compassion Service staff held rallies where, through multiple methods, they helped to make villagers aware of how to create a healthy and safe environment in which the girls are aware of and protected from things that would endanger them or hinder them from a fulfilling future.
Topics in various locations ranged from issues such as education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection from discrimination, violence against women, and forced child marriages.
GFA’s founder, K.P. Yohannan, described the ministry’s compassion and service for girls – and all children:
“Think about it—every single one of these children is an eternal being. They will live forever. That means they are extremely, infinitely valuable, and we must value them. Once we recognize that and understand that, we will know how we must treat them. And, of course, that applies to you and me and everyone else also.”
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- Refinery29, Everything You Need To Know About International Day of the Girl
- UNICEF, International Day of the Girl 2019
- UN Women, International Day of the Girl Child
- KP Yohannan.org, Kindness Makes the Difference – KP Yohannan on Children’s Day
- Gospel for Asia, Photo of the Day