Kathmandu: UNICEF said it acknowledges the international community’s hard-fought gains for the world’s women and girls as the world celebrate International Women’s Day on Tuesday.
“We celebrate the remarkable achievements of women and girls in our societies. And we redouble our commitment to extend those gains to every girl, everywhere,” said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell in a statement.
Russell said that the fight for gender equality is far from over, adding that this injustice has been multiplied by the impacts of the pandemic.
“As we enter the third year of Covid-19 and work toward a post-pandemic era, true recovery must be gender-equal,” Russell said.
The pandemic is devastating the lives of girls. Globally, over 11 million girls may never go back to school after the pandemic. An additional 10 million girls are at risk of child marriage over the next decade. And, according to UNFPA, two million additional cases of female genital mutilation may occur.
“As lockdowns force children to spend more time in their homes, girls are shouldering more of the household labor. Many are forced into close quarters with an abuser, separated from the services and communities that help protect them. Gender-based violence, including sexual violence, is on the rise,” Russell added. “We cannot let a generation of girls bear the cost of this pandemic for the rest of their lives. As we work toward a post-pandemic era, girls must be at the center of global, national, and local pandemic response and recovery plans.
“On International Women’s Day, let’s commit to a girl-focused Covid-19 recovery that helps create a more just and equal post-pandemic world for girls, and a brighter, more peaceful and prosperous future for us all,” Russell said.