National Girl Child Day 2020: History, significance and facts

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National Girl Child Day was established in 2008 in order to spread awareness about the inequalities face by the girl child among the people, and to ensure that they get equal opportunities and exposure.

While women and girls may be referred to as devis and Laxmis in India, we all know that in our patriarchal society, women are often shunned, mistreated, face a lack of opportunities and many more such wrongs are suffered by the women of India. In order to spread awareness about the inequalities face by the girl child among the people, and to ensure that they get equal opportunities and exposure, the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Government of India established National Girl Child Day in 2008.

And for over the past decade, this day is celebrated throughout India, several programs are organised, and awareness campaigns related to subjects like saving the girl child, child sex ratios, and creating a healthy and safe environment for a girl child are also organised.

Women have forever suffered at the hands of society’s rules and regulations, from the ancient practices of Sati, where a widow would have to burn herself alive on the pyre of her dead husband, to child marriage, dowry, gender inequality, pay parity and more. The suffering of women doesn’t end with menstruation and childbirth but is made more complex by the unrealistic expectations of a patriarchal society. And it isn’t just limited to rural areas, women face sexism in metropolitans just as much, although in different ways.

The main objective of National Girl Child Day is to: To spread awareness among people about all the inequalities faced by girls in the country. To promote awareness about the rights of a girl child. To increase awareness on the importance of girl education, health, and nutrition.

Government initiated campaigns like ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ are very important as they address important issues like stopping the inhumane practices of female foeticide and to acknowledge and fight for a girl’s right to education. Such campaigns help change the mindset of people, especially in rural areas where a lack of education ends up being the cause of barbaric practices against women. Mass awareness helps change the mindset of people, and thereby of society.

In 2019, it was celebrated with the theme of ‘Empowering Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow’