Despite progress in education in the last 25 years, violence against women and girls is still accepted in many parts of the world, said a report issued on Wednesday from the UN Children’s Fund, UN Women and Plan International.
However, the report released ahead of next week’s 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, said the number of out-of-school girls has dropped by 79 million in the last two decades and in the last decade girls are more likely to be in secondary school than boys. They are still more disadvantaged at the primary level, where 5.5 million more girls than boys are out of school worldwide, it said. Global progress in reducing the number of out-of-school children at the primary level has stagnated for both girls and boys since 2007. There are about 1.1 billion girls in the world, said the 40-page report, “A New Era for Girls, Taking Stock of 25 Years of Progress.”
In 1995, the world adopted the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action — the most comprehensive policy agenda for gender equality — with the vision of ending discrimination against women and girls, the report said. But 25 years later, discrimination and limiting stereotypes remain rife. Girls’ life expectancy has been extended by eight years, yet for many, the quality of that life is still far from what was envisioned, it said.In 2016, women and girls account for 70 percent of detected trafficking victims globally, most for sexual exploitation, and 1 in every 20 girls aged 15-19 — or about 13 million girls — has experienced rape in their lifetimes, one of the most violent forms of sexual abuse women and girls can suffer, the report said.