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Africa: Despite Progress, Girls Subjected to Violence and Discrimination March 5, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Africa, Africa sexism, AIDS, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, discrimination against girls, HIV, Millennium Development Goals, Sexism, sexism against women, Sexist, sexual violence, UN, United Nations, violence, violence against women.
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Violence against women and girls is one of the most extreme forms of inequality, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman said today on the occasion of the 51st Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

“Despite progress, we continue to live in a world where millions of girls remain out of school, engaged in exploitative labor, are trafficked, are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and are targets of sexual violence,” Veneman said in advance of International Women’s Day on March 8.

String the critical link between discrimination against girls and women and violence, Veneman drew attention to the sexual violence committed in armed conflict, trafficking, and practices such as honour killings, dowry crimes, early marriage, and female genital cutting/mutilation.

“In too many countries and regions, the plight of girls is ignored or denied,” Veneman said. “This leaves girls to suffer in silence and has a devastating effect on the well-being of families and communities.”

Veneman said education is a key to addressing discrimination and violence against girls and to helping achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Educated girls are better equipped to protect themselves against life-threatening diseases such as HIV/AIDS, are more likely to give birth to healthy babies who will survive and grow into adulthood, tend to delay marriage, and are more likely to have fewer children.

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