Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Girls Just Want to Have Rights in Poorer Nations, Girls Often Receive Less Education and Work Harder Than Boys. but Their Plight Did Get the Global Spotlight at This Month's UN Conference in Beijing. Series: THE FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Girls Just Want to Have Rights in Poorer Nations, Girls Often Receive Less Education and Work Harder Than Boys. but Their Plight Did Get the Global Spotlight at This Month's UN Conference in Beijing. Series: THE FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN

Article excerpt

SUFFERING inequality around the world and invisible for years from the women's movement, girls now share the spotlight.

Unlike past United Nations conferences at which girls got hardly a mention, the Sept. 4 to 15 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing and the parallel Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) Forum in the nearby suburb of Huairou were, as heralded by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the American first lady, "a special celebration of girls."

The world's women rallied around the "girl child" as she faces a growing struggle for a fighting chance to survive infancy and lead a healthy life in many poorer countries.

Investing in the future

"The theme is investing in today's girls, tomorrow's women, and the future. We know that much of what we do, we are doing not for ourselves, but we are doing for our daughters, our nieces, our granddaughters," Mrs. Clinton said in a speech at the NGO forum.

"We are doing it because we have the hope that the changes we work for will take root and flower in their lives," the first lady added.

In an unprecedented endorsement in the 150-page Platform of Action - an agenda for addressing women's issues into the next century worked out by delegates at the official conference - the manifesto included a separate area of concern about the girl child and incorporates references to girls into every section of the Platform.

The agenda, a nonbinding document that women worldwide will use to press for an improvement in their status, urges governments to end all discrimination against girls, discourage preferences for sons, and provide education, resources, and support so girls and young women can thrive.

The change came about as a result of two years of intense lobbying by the United Nations Children's Fund and private women's advocacy groups in Western nations, Africa, and South Asia and won widespread support at the oftentimes contentious conference. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.