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Asian girls' rights alliance announced in Taipei

Asian girls' rights alliance announced in Taipei

Taipei, Oct. 7 (CNA) A local charity group announced in Taipei Wednesday the establishment of an Asian girls' rights alliance, with the goal of improving the rights of young women across Asia. The Garden of Hope Foundation (?????) inaugurated the Asian Girls' Rights Alliance at a conference in which representatives from 11 countries gathered to discuss such issues as gender stereotypes and girls' rights to safety, health and education. Over 300 organizations from 24 countries are members of the alliance, Chi Hui-jung (???), chief executive officer of the foundation, said on the sidelines of the conference. "We hope to continue to improve girls' rights through this alliance, because girls in Asia today still face problems of early marriage, sexual assault, human trafficking, abortion, and the lack of a right to education," Chi said. In addition to organizing more regional meetings and conferences on girls' rights, she said her foundation will help the alliance members to find donors to fund their various girl empowerment programs. One of these projects is a bicycle project for girls in Bangladesh. The idea is to provide schoolgirls with bicycles to reduce their risk of being harassed when walking to and from school, Chi said. Bipana Sharma, a 16-year-old childrens' and girls' rights activist from Nepal, said the alliance raises awareness on girls' issues and has inspired her to "do something for all Asian girls" and not just for girls in her home country. Sharma, who attended the conference, advocates against child labor, early marriage and superstitious practices in Nepal targeting girls, such as locking girls up in dark rooms during their menstruation. 16-year-old Shopna Sathi from Bangladesh, meanwhile, noted that child marriage is rampant in her country and that girls are often told they are not worthy. "They should know about their rights, that they are everything, not nothing," Sathi said. Sathi, who teaches karate, boxing, soccer and life skills to girls at Nari Uddug Kendra, a woman's organization in Bangladesh, also emphasized the importance of girls engaging in sports. "If a girl knows karate, she becomes confident and can defend herself," she said. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-19 20:11 GMT+08:00