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Empowering Girls Through Legal Protection Strategies in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Liberia

By: International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

According to a 2008 report by the Center for Global Development, girls are generally less healthy, less educated and enjoy less freedom than their male counterparts. Such disparities, which highlight the disempowerment and marginalization of girls, result from a variety of factors including cultural and social norms. Ultimately, however, they are rooted in gender discrimination, which interferes with girls’ ability to develop, and ultimately, prejudices their ability to have lives of dignity. The difficulties faced by girls are compounded by the fact that they are often neglected.

This report aims at compiling comprehensive, accurate and strategic information on how best to enhance the protection of girls through legal empowerment. After an introduction on global challenges to the empowerment of girls children, the report highlights the situation facing girls in Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Liberia concentrating in the areas of birth registration, education, property/inheritance, child labor, child trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of children and child marriage. The paper concludes with suggestions for the way forward and entry points with respect to protection of girls.