Last Friday marked the third annual International Day of the Girl Child, a UN led initiative that focuses and promotes the human rights of girls across the globe. Launching in 2012, the focus of the day has ranged from a focus on ending child marriage, and in 2013 encouraging the innovation of the education of girls internationally.
This year the message engaged with the issue of ending the cycle of violence against girls. This initiative helps bring this critical issue to the forefront of political discussion, and places it in the priority area for politicians and governments across the globe.
This is something that needs to be tackled on a national level in conjunction with international efforts. Labour recognises that this requires strong action, and this is why Labour continues to create policy and legislation such as supporting the introduction of a Commissioner of Domestic and Sexual Violence so that victims have a direct representative in government.
On a local level, I want the girls growing up in Edinburgh South to experience an environment free from gender inequality. An environment where their horizons are constantly expanded and never limited by discrimination, or fear. Where they feel supported to make decisions and realise opportunities equal and available to all. On a local, national and international level I hope to make this possible by supporting policy that prioritises and reflects their best interests.
You can find out more about the UN International Day of the Girl at: http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/girl-child