All over the world women and girls are being discriminated, the worst in low-income countries. You can say that girls are discriminated even before birth and this will follow them throughout their lives.
There are lots of reasons to why girls are being discriminated. It is mainly about cultural values and traditions in the country. Many families choose not to invest in girls, whether it is about time, effort or money. In countries where girls are married off to another family there is no effort put into the girl since she is not going to contribute to her family, it will all be in favour of her husband’s family. For this reason, girls are often standing back to the boys. The time when mothers bread their children is often longer when it is a boy then it is with girls. Poor families in low-income countries rarely vaccinate their daughters, but instead they concentrate on the boys. This, of course, makes the girls more susceptible to diseases. The outcome from this is of course that girls have a larger risk of dying than boys. This discrimination has led to large deficits in statistics than expected if you take increase in population in consideration. Only in Asia approximately 117 million women are missing. I countries like China and India it is not unusual to test the women in early pregnancy to detect girls and being able to abort.
In many countries the balance between girls and boys in schools are mainly equal. In countries where discrimination is big, mainly boys get to go to school. The girls that get to go to school has a larger rate of dropping out early. All kinds of domestic chores and taking care of younger sisters and brothers are girls work and all work goes without recognition. This makes the official work statistics in these country’s very misleading. Girls get very little time for playing and it is harder for them to go to school. Poor family’s priorities boys’ school before girls. You should, however, be aware that education of girls and women are completely crucial to the country´s economy. Women with education tend to give birth to less children and has a greater ability to take care of their family. Outside the problem of education, you can see a big difference when it comes to health. In countries with lower standards in economy girls are often malnourished. If there is food, boys are prioritised.
UNICEF´s work for girls
Fighting for girls and women’s rights has come to be one of the most important work for UNICEF. They visit governments and villages around the world to support women and girls’ possibilities to become a part of the society and its development. UNICEF also takes initiatives on conferences to work against selective abortions and discrimination of girls and infants. It is crucial for developing countries to have girls in society to evolve. Last, but not least, UNICEF is working actively against genital mutilation, forced marriages, HIV and Aids.