‘We cannot accept the fact that nearly 33 000 girls are married off every day, that girls are being subjected to female genital mutilation, and that girls are being killed because of a preference for sons,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.
Harmful practices are violations of human rights that predominantly affect girls. These practices harm girls’ and women’s health, can deprive them of the opportunity to gain an education and make it more difficult for them to participate in working life and society.
By adopting the Sustainable Development Goals, the international community has undertaken to eliminate harmful practices by 2030. If we are to achieve this, our efforts must be accelerated.
On 11 October, the UN’s International Day of the Girl Child, the Government launched a new strategy setting out how it intends to shoulder its share of the international responsibility for eliminating harmful practices.
‘There are no simple solutions when it comes to ending harmful practices, but promoting gender equality between women and men, and girls and boys, is the key to achieving change,’ Mr Ulstein said.
‘The strategy we are launching today is a clear signal that the Government is intensifying its efforts in this area. Civil society actors and religious leaders will be important partners in this work, particularly with regard to changing attitudes in local communities. The UNFPA-Unicef Joint Programmes on ending female genital mutilation and child marriage have achieved good results and we will continue to support both programmes. The new strategy also sets out our intention to strengthen Norway’s advocacy role in international forums,’ Mr Ulstein said.
The strategy was launched at Ingensteds in Oslo in cooperation with Plan International Norway.
Read the strategy here (in Norwegian only. The strategy is currently being translated into English).