Human Rights Violations’ Impact on Girls

Meeting of the 76th President of UNGA with NGOs upon 50th Session of UNHRC

IAW Main Representative Dr Sibylle von Heydebrand gave an Oral Statement

June 15, UN Geneva. By invitation of the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid (Maldives), IAW’s Main representative at the UN Geneva, Dr Sibylle von Heydebrand, delivered an oral statement on behalf of the International Alliance of Women. She appealed to put the rights of girls, in all their diversity, at the center of attention, as they are among the most vulnerable people.

She pointed out that

  • Girls under five are three times more likely to be affected by malnutrition than boys under five.
  • In the developing countries, one in three girls does not complete primary education, mostly because they spend eight times as long doing household work. As a result, there are 96 million illiterate girls between the ages of 15 and 24, compared to 57 million illiterate boys. – Almost twice as many girls as boys can neither read nor write.
  • Every day, 25,000 girls are victims of forced marriage.
  • Pregnancy is the leading cause of death among 15- to 19-year-old girls.
  • 50% of sexual assaults in the world involve girls under 16.

In many countries, girls are the first victims when children’s human rights are violated. Not only because of their age and due to their gender, other factors can be added, such as poverty, disability or belonging to a minority.

As we live in times of crisis, – the climate crisis and the consequences of Covid-19, – gender inequalities are even increasing.

She recalled the central promise of the 2030 Agenda: Leave no one behind and she strongly insisted: Leave no girl behind.


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