Against sexual abuse: one out of every four girls in the world have suffered

Faridah is 20 years old and lives in Kampala, capital of Uganda. She is a single mother of two small children, and at night sells nuts and crisps in the street

Against sexual abuse: one out of every four girls in the world have suffered

Faridah is 20 years old and lives in Kampala, capital of Uganda. She is a single mother of two small children, and at night sells nuts and crisps in the street to survive, although be aware of the risks. In fact, it has been attacked on several occasions.

a year Ago, while pregnant, was walking with a friend when they were attacked by drug traffickers. Her friend was raped and murdered in front of their eyes. Although it may seem a lie, what I saw Faridah is not an isolated fact: one of every four girls in the world have suffered sexual abuse.

girls and young women want a world they can live freely without fear of being assaulted; where they are treated with dignity and respect and be seen, heard and valued in terms of equality. However, for the vast majority of the girls in the world this is a dream very difficult to achieve, given that they live in communities where the norms and harmful traditional practices impede progress.

it Is important to highlight the challenges faced by the girls, make a call to the authorities to improve the living conditions of girls and young women and encouraging girls to be the protagonists of change they need. Despite the advances made in recent years, the change is going too slowly. In the current state of things, it will be more than 100 years in narrowing the gender gaps. We need to accelerate this process.

This is the reason why the from Plan International, we launched our new global campaign for Girls, Get Equal; the campaign's most important-led by the girls in favor of gender equality around the world. With #GirlsGetEqual we claim that the girls achieve a new world with new rules and we call for citizens, world leaders and young activists to come together to eradicate discrimination by gender and age, abuse, harassment and negative stereotypes that affect the girls. Only they, the young girls of today, that can reach the change the world needs, shaping a future that is better for all people.

we Know that change is possible. The story of Faridah does not end in tragedy and resignation: she joined the Safe Cities programme of Plan International, and became a champion of change. Now works in your city to encourage the local authorities to take measures to make public spaces safer for girls and young women.

Faridah is not going to stop. This movement is not going to stop. The time has come for change, and all people have a role to play. Join #GirlsGetEqual.

*Emilia Sanchez is the director of Advocacy and Communication of Plan International, an organization that works for a just world that promotes children's rights and the equality of the girls.

Updated Date: 26 October 2018, 07:01

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