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Sunday December 05, 2021

Bringing social change towards girl child’s rights

October 12, 2019

Islamabad :To commemorate International Day of the Girl Child, the Ministry of Human Rights, in collaboration with European Union funded Huqooq-e-Pakistan Programme, launched an awareness drive on the Rights of the Girl Child using Truck Art as a tool to reach out to maximum number of people in the rural areas. Film star Mehwish Hayat has joined the campaign as Goodwill Ambassador for the Girl Child.

The International Day of Girl Child is celebrated all over the world on October 11th with an aim to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls’ face in their journey towards an enabling environment for the fulfilment of their basic human rights.

The campaign will innovatively use an indigenous art form -Truck Art - as mobile billboards to disseminate rights of girl child message. Under this initiative, 20 trucks will be painted with positive messages on rights of the girl child including the right to education, the right to play, the right to realize their full potential by ensuring freedom from child marriage and child labour.

The Trucks will carry these messages as they traverse the length and breadth of Pakistan as moving billboards and help in sensitizing truck drivers, as well as the hard to reach population who are exposed to the trucks on these routes.

The initiative is spearheaded by renowned anthropologist and filmmaker Samar Minallah Khan along with key expert on Communications and Awareness Raising Seema Jaffer and her team. The purpose of this initiative is to bring social and behavioural change, on the importance of the girl child, within masses, using truck art a medium that has long been a national pride.

“The rights of all children including the rights of the girl child are enshrined in our constitution, the girl child is an equal asset of our nation and it is her right to access equal education health and all other opportunities. She must be nurtured to develop her full potential” said Federal Minister for Human

Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari, while speaking on this occasion.

She urged the world to give attention to the girls of Occupied Kashmir who are not able to go to school since more than two months. She also highlighted the rights violation in some of the European countries where Muslim women and girls are not allowed or targeted for wearing Hijab.

Secretary Ministry of Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha briefed the participants about the initiatives taken by the Ministry. “22.8 million children are out of school and 56 per cent of these are girls. Let’s change the statistics, lets educate, empower and celebrate our daughters to be the best of everything they were born to be” said Secretary Ministry of Human Rights Rabiya Javeri Agha.

Ambassador-Designate of the European Union to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara said that its inspiring to see young Pakistani women are influencers and active members in every sphere of life. As a mother and professional woman, I am convinced that when girls get the opportunities they deserve, magic starts to happen.”

Renowned activist and filmmaker Samar Minallah said that it is important to challenge the patriarchal mindset and stereotypes. “Truck art with empowering messages of rights

of girls will help in reaching out to audiences that matter and are unreachable.”

In recent years, Pakistan has taken significant steps to advance the rights of children. Article 25-A of the Constitution legislated free and compulsory education for children aged 5-16 whereas Child Protection Laws at national and provincial level provide protection and mechanism to deal with incidents of violence against children. The federal government has made the education of the girl child a national priority.