August 9, 2006

ONLINE DISCUSSION: "The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child"

An online discussion on the theme of ?The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child? is being organised by the Division for the Advancement of Women, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations. The discussion will run for four weeks from 14 August to 8 September 2006.

The purpose of the online discussion is to contribute to a further understanding of the causes and consequences of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child and to identify good practices and further strategies required to accelerate the elimination of these violations of the human rights of girls.

Contributions to the online discussion will provide the background information to a meeting of experts convened by the Division for the Advancement of Women in collaboration with UNICEF at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy from 25 to 28 September 2006, to discuss this theme.

The online discussion and the expert group meeting are part of the preparatory process for the 51st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2007, which will consider ?The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child? as its priority theme.


The issue of discrimination and violence against the girl child has drawn increasing attention from the international community during the past decade. The 1990 World Summit on Children, the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly have all addressed the issue.

There is recognition that discrimination and violence against girls begins at the earliest stages of life and continues unabated throughout their lives. Girls often have less access to nutrition, physical and mental health care and education and enjoy fewer rights, opportunities and benefits of childhood and adolescence than boys. They are often subjected to various forms of exploitation, including sexual exploitation, violence and harmful practices such as female infanticide and prenatal sex selection, incest, female genital mutilation/cutting,  early marriage and forced marriage.  

The ten-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, undertaken in 2005, acknowledged significant progress in the advancement of the girl child, especially in the recognition of her rights.  However, it noted that discrimination against girls in everyday life remains pervasive and there is an urgent need for concerted action.

Themes of the online discussion

The online discussion is scheduled to begin on 14 August and to continue for four weeks. Each of the first three weeks of the discussion will be devoted to one theme, while the last week will provide the opportunity to raise additional issues and wrap up.

  • Week One: August 14 ? Protection of the girl child; girls in vulnerable situations
  • Week Two: 21 August ? Empowerment of the girl child
  • Week Three: 28 August ? Monitoring progress - data and statistics on the girl child
  • Week Four: 4 September ? Other issues and wrap up

To register, go to: Interested individuals are encouraged to register before 7 August 2006. They will receive an email with a username and password before the start of the online discussion. Any questions should be sent to Mr. Rajkumar Cheney Krishnan ( at the Division for the Advancement for Women. 

Chris Schuepp
Young People's Media Network - Coordinator
Youth Media Consulting GbR
c/o ECMC (European Centre for Media Competence)
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