International Day of the Girl Child, October 11, 2017 "EmPOWER girls: Emergency response and resilience planning." Sherubtse College, Kanglung
This year the National Commission for Women and Children in collaboration with Sherubtse College and support from UNICEF joins the global community in observing the International Day of the Girl Child with the theme “Empower girls: Emergency response and resilience planning.” Empower girls will highlight the current actions of empowered girls in a range of geographical settings that represent the vast diversity of emergency contexts.
The day, which is observed on 11th October every year, serves as a catalyst for the growing worldwide movement to empower girls and mark the launch of a year-long effort to bring together multi-sectoral partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to the most pressing needs and opportunities of girls in emergencies, among them: access to menstrual hygiene and other commodities, and related gender-responsive health and nutrition information and services; addressing gender-based violence and harmful practices through a range of prevention, protection and response approaches; and access to girls’ education and skills-building.
To observe the International Day of the Girl Child, Hon’ble Lyonpo Dorji Choden, Chairperson of the NCWC and the Minister for Works and Human Settlement will grace the occasion with the people of Trashigang, Women representatives from six eastern Dzongkhags, students and faculty of Sherubtse College. The NCWC will conduct a sensitization on its mandate, The Child Care and Protection Act, 2011, The Child Adoption Act, 2012 and The Domestic Prevention Act, 2013 and the related Rules and Regulations followed by presentations from key stakeholders and relevant partners.
In collaboration with Sherubtse College, NCWC will hold a panel discussion on the theme of the IDGC; "EmPOWER girls: Emergency response and resilience planning."
The panelists from different agencies will talk on the various efforts of young girls towards addressing the issues faced by girls all around the world and the initiatives taken to continuously respond to their needs and help them develop their full potential. The discussion will also focus on various interventions being undertaken, gaps and challenges and future actions that are necessary. it would also touch on coordination issues and the need for the Government, local authorities, civil society, development partners, children, youth and the community to work together.
Two billion people live in countries affected by conflict and violence, and 200 million people are affected by natural disasters every year. In 2016, approximately 535 million
children were living in countries affected by conflict, natural disasters, epidemics and other emergencies worldwide.
Every 10 minutes, somewhere in the world, an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence. Gender-based violence often spikes in humanitarian emergencies and displacement settings, subjecting girls to sexual and physical violence, child marriage, exploitation, and trafficking. Girls are also 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys during conflict, compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults. Health services critical to girls’ well being, including sexual and reproductive health services and information, maternal care, and provisions for menstrual health and hygiene, are often scarce or insufficient in crisis situations. The Article 9.17 and 18 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2008 reaffirms the commitment of the Government to take appropriate measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and exploitation against women and children including trafficking, prostitution, abuse, violence, harassment and intimidation at workplace in both public and private spheres. Further, Article 9.3 states "the state shall endeavor to create a civil society free of oppression, discrimination and violence, based on the rule of law, protection of human rights and dignity, and to ensure the fundamental rights and freedom of the people."
Bhutan is one of the first signatories to the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was ratified on August 21, 1990 and its two optional protocols on the Sale of Children and Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in 2009.
The NCWC has been working closely with Government agencies, Non-government organizations and Development partners in particular UNICEF and Save the Children International towards promoting and protecting the rights of children in Bhutan.