By VOA News
October 11, 2020

The world marks the International Day of the Girl Child on Sunday, during a year in which a global pandemic and subsequent economic downturn has created further challenges for girls.

The United Nations, which created the day in 2011 to promote girls' rights, says difficulties already faced by girls have been exacerbated by the coronavirus health crisis, including in the areas of education, child marriage, domestic violence and economic opportunity.

A U.N. website for the observance says by next year, an estimated 435 million women and girls will be living on less than $1.90 a day – including 47 million “pushed into poverty as a result of COVID-19.”

It notes that the loss of economic prosperity and education for girls fueled by the crisis is also linked to increased levels of violence.

The U.N. says even before the pandemic, one in three women worldwide had experienced physical or sexual violence. “Emerging data shows that since the outbreak of COVID-19, violence against women and girls and particularly domestic violence, has intensified.”……

Sasmito Madrim of the Indonesian Service, Ingyin Naing of the Burmese Service, Carol Guensburg of the Africa Division, and the Bangla Service contributed to this report.

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