Stop violence against girls: Amnesty International
Amnesty International urged the governments and school officials around the world to end violence against girls particularly in school in its report Safe School: Every Girl’s Right.
Widney Brown, Senior Director at Amnesty International said, “Governments are failing girls’ at the most basic level. Their failure to address violence against girls in schools is unacceptable.”
“Virtually every government claims to abhor violence against women and girls. Schools are a place where governments have direct responsibility and can start backing up their words with concrete actions,” she added.
The report call attention to the fact that girls through out the world continuously face the risk of being sexually assaulted, beleaguered or demoralized outside or inside the school premises.
Underscoring that some girls suffer more violence than others the report put ethnic minorities, lesbians or girls with disabilities at higher risk than their peers.
The report suggests that many girls face psychological violence, bullying, humiliation and are offered marks by teachers in exchange for sexual favours and raped in staff rooms.
Terming the impact of such violence as long term the report also held this as one of the foremost reason drop out in schools.
Emphasising the importance of education Brown said, “Ensuring that girls have meaningful access to education is widely recognized as key to women’s empowerment. Being denied an education will follow a woman all her life.
The report also warned against the prevailing notion of inappropriate sexual advances by boys in school as male aggression, which if unpunished sends out the wrong message that violence against women are acceptable in society.
Making primary education free of cost should be an important step to make more and more girls available for this process of self reliance.
The report suggests some formula to end violence against girls in school including
• Enacting and enforcing appropriate laws and policies to prohibit all form of violence against girls. • Creating national plans of action in order to create safe environment for girls. • Teacher, school authorities must promptly respond to violence including effective investigations and criminal prosecutions when appropriate and providing support services, including medical treatment, for victims and survivors. • Governments must work to achieve the 2000 Millennium Development Goals such as universal primary education and gender equality to address violence and discrimination against girls.
Underlining the need of concerted effort by the government to check violence against girls Brown remarked “It’s difficult to learn when every school day is a struggle against violence.”
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