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International Day Of The Girl Child: 5 Victories For The Girl Child In 2017

International day of the girl child is celebrated on the 11th of October yearly and for good reason. There are still a lot of things that the girl child needs from the world around her, least of which is the recognition and understanding that she is as important and equal to the boy child.

The fight for rights for the girl child has been ongoing on a number of fronts and due to these different battles, there comes around. once in a while, a victory that the girl child will certainly be grateful for immediately or in a couple of years down the line.

See Also: World Mental Health Day: Searching For Peace In The Rubble

This year alone, there have been some of those victories in good measure and with the International Day of the girl child just past, it is only right for us to celebrate them, whether for the first time or all over again.

5 Things The Girl Child Can Now Be Thankful For

Women Driving In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia had remained the last lone holdout on women driving for as long as anyone can remember. This year, however, a rather unexpected decree gave women the permission to obtain driver’s licenses.

The decree also extended to an allowance of women driving alone without needing the permission of their guardians to get a driver’s license. The interior ministry was also to make a decision on whether women could be professional drivers. The momentous decree as a victory for the girl child who should have no restrictions whatsoever on what she should be able to learn or do.

Muslim Women In Tunisia Gained The Right To Marry Anyone

The right to choose one’s spouse is one of the many great freedoms that people all over the world take for granted but until recently, Muslim women in Tunisia could not marry non-Muslim men.

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In September, however, the 44-year ban preventing Muslim women from marrying non-Muslims was lifted. The President of Tunisia, Beji Caid Essebsi, who had campaigned tirelessly for gender equality ever since he took office, pushed for the ban to be lifted arguing that it contravened Tunisia’s 2014 constitution which was created following the Arab Spring protests at the turn of the decade.

Singapore Got Its First Female President

Halimah Yacob a 63 year old politician became Singapore’s first female President in 2017 and this is a victory for the girl child because the more female Presidents that there are in the world or even through history, the more they know that no height is too high for them.

Yacob had been announced as the President in September with no elections conducted after two of her contenders dropped out of the race.

See Also: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Tells The World Goodbye At The UN General Assembly

Despite the fact that the President’s office in Singapore is mostly ceremonial with the President having no significant executive powers and only some authority over Singapore’s asset and financial reserves, Yacob gave a speech filled with joy over her victory, assuring the people of a fair and committed leadership.

India Rules Sex With A Child Bride As Rape

On the 11th of October 2017, the International Day of the girl child, India’s Supreme Court ruled that sex with an underage wife constitutes rape.

It was a landmark ruling which campaigners have said could affect the lives of millions of girls. It overturned an initial clause that permitted men to have sex with a married girl as young as fifteen and according to Girls Not Brides — a coalition of NGOs working to end child marriage — 47% of Indian girls are married by the age of eighteen.

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With the new ruling, girls who are raped by their husbands can bring charges within one year of the offence.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Ended Her Tenure In Style

The first female President of Liberia and the first female President in the African continent at large saw her tenure draw to a close in October and true to her word, worked to ensure a peaceful transference of power by supervising a democratic election to choose her successor.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is leaving office with a lot of goodwill directed at her and in a continent where sit tight leaders who hold on to power thinking that they are the only ones fit enough to rule, she has set an amazing example for the girl child and female leadership as a whole.


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