WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement recognizing the International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2015.
“The International Day of the Girl is a day where we recognize the fundamental rights of girls, recommit to investing in the future of girls, and to ending the continuing violence that girls face around the world.
“The threats and violence directed against girls are staggering. In Central America, girls are fleeing widespread and systemic violence at the hands of gangs, causing them to seek asylum and safety in the United States. In West Africa, according to Amnesty International, we know that Boko Haram has abducted an estimated two thousand women and children since January 2014—children taken abruptly while they were at home at night or in broad daylight, while working on farms or attending school, while on the bus or walking roads they’ve walked their whole lives. In Syria, thousands of girls have been subjected to barrel bombs by the Assad regime or taken captive and brutalized by ISIL and other extremist groups. More than 64 million girls worldwide are child brides, married off before the age of 18. And millions of others are victims of forced labor and sexual exploitation
“Every girl deserves respect and the United States and other governments across the globe must do more to ensure that dignity. Reducing and eliminating the violence is not simply a moral imperative. Societies thrive when girls are given the opportunity to reach their full potential. The investments we make in girls’ education, health, safety, and future will have direct results, creating societies that are more peaceful, more just, more prosperous and creative, and less susceptible to the forces of violent extremism.”