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ED: Don’t leave our girls behind

  • Published at 12:56 am February 13th, 2021
Uttara High School centre Dhaka-18 By-Polls
Dhaka Tribune

Issues of menstruation, child marriage, and abuse remain prominent impediments to their progress

As has been discussed plenty of times before, and with good cause, children across the nation have been one of the most affected groups during the pandemic, not necessarily as a direct threat to their physical well-being, but as a result of the ensuing lockdown which has put their guardians out of work, and has forced their schools to shut down.

Even within this demographic, unsurprisingly, girls have remained even more vulnerable, for not only have they missed out on essential schooling necessary for their intellectual and social development, many have also been deemed to have been out of school for “too long” and have become victims of child marriage.

In this regard, the words of the British prime minister’s Special Envoy on Girls’ Education, Helen Grant, ring true: School must eventually re-open in order to become the source of enlightenment and safety it once was for millions of girls across the nation.

A school is more than merely a building with classrooms and blackboards. For millions, it is the bridge that connects them to a world outside of their homes, provides them with opportunities to take control of their own destinies and, most importantly of all, educates them on their potential as members of society.

This is especially urgent for girls as, even now, issues of menstruation, child marriage, and abuse remain prominent impediments to their progress in Bangladesh.

The UK’s support in this regard to provide skills training and education to 1.2 million children -- half of women are girls -- is commendable. We hope this is one amongst many initiatives welcomed and taken by the authorities to ensure that our girls are not left behind.