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Challenge 5 - Rights for Girls - Equality

Page history last edited by PBworks 4 years, 8 months ago


Overview of the 5 challenges: 1. Why Children's Rights? - 2. Autonomy & recognition - 3. The right to education - 4. Protection against Child labour - 5. Rights for girls & Equality

By students of Pantarijn Wageningen


In many countries, girls are the first victims when children’s human rights are violated and they often suffer double discrimination: for their age and for their gender.

They are more discriminated against than boys are for being minors and female.

Furthermore, this double discrimination can become triple discrimination if one adds other factors, such as being poor or disabled or belonging to a minority group.


Searching for information about girls' rights, you'll find many hard facts and differences between girls and boys.

But also organizations that are committed to improving the lives of many girls.







Assignment 1:


A. Make smaller groups and choose one of the sub-topics:

  • malnutrition 

  • education

  • forced marriage

  • sexual assault

  • trafficking

  • etc.


B. Examine the remarkable facts and differences and:

Find out what aid organizations and society can do.

Find out which rights from the UNCRC (The Treaty) are focussing specifically on rights for girls? 

Find out the facts about this matter in your country.


C. Each sub-group makes a presentation:

  • 3 minutes - 'This is how it is' - the facts

  • 3 minutes - 'Now is the time to realize girls’ power' - hope, trust and aid organizations

  • 3 minutes - Questions & Answers


Decide for yourself how you want to share your research in the global classroom


(see resources on Girls’ Rights)



Assignment 2: The story of 14 year old Zalissa Kabore.



This movie tells the story of Zalissa Kabore, a girl from Burkina Faso, that was forced to be married at the age of 14 and therefore could not go to school.

Her father tells his story and explains that it is a tradition that the grandfather of a girl gives her away to get married:

"When Zalissa was born it was clear whom she would marry".

Zalissa explains that she is against child marriages because she is physically very small and would like to continue studying. Zalissa's teacher tells us that Zalissa is very smart and that he hated it that Zalissa was married. He and all the other teachers have had training to deal with such matters. A parents' evening was organized, involving all teachers, all parents, Zalissa's teacher, Zalissa's father and Zalissa herself. After that meeting Zalissa's father realized that child marriage is a tradition that should not be maintained.


  • Find out more about child marriages. 

  • Make a poem about Zalyssa's story or write an open letter about her situation.

  • Find out the facts about this matter in your country. 



Assignment 3: A Taboo


Student of Pantarijn Wageningen, The Netherlands:

My life as a female in the Netherlands is great. Female rights are the same as male rights.

Even though I have the same rights I can be treated differently because I’m a female. But my problems aren’t nearly as big as my fellow women from all over the world.

The main issue we would like to address is the lack of knowledge and help for woman all over the world when it comes to menstruation.

A decent toilet, clean water (to wash your hands or to clean yourself and your clothes), tampons and pads. It might sound self-evident but for women in countries like Kenya or Niger, it is not. 

Besides the lack of sanitary facilities, there is also a taboo around the ‘period’ topic. In countries like Kenya, there are many superstitions about menstruation.

There are many different tribes with different superstitions but in most tribes, women are considered impure and unclean.


Here's the story about a tribe in Daba:




The women don’t know what a sanitary pad is, instead of a pad they have to use a piece of blanket to keep themselves clean. Some women use clay or the newspaper to keep themselves ‘clean’.

They are embarrassed to talk about their menstruation, they won’t even talk to their daughters about it because they are ashamed for having their periods.

Some people might not have the ‘privilege’ to search online for information or ask a teacher. And even if they have these ‘privileges’ they might be too embarrassed to actually ask for help. Women should always have access to sanitary products and education.

Especially if it can affect your health, because of the lack of sanitary products, girls can end up with a urinary tract infection or genital disorders. 

They probably don’t know why women have periods and how to deal with it.

Because of the embarrassment, there is a lack of knowledge and education about the subject menstruation.


But the lack of knowledge and education is not exclusively in Africa or Kenya. There is also a lack of knowledge in ‘western’ countries:

In health class I didn’t learn anything about how to use a pad or a tampon, I also never learned about menstruation pain. Some girls feel ashamed to ask their mom or a friend.

People laughed while talking about periods which made me think that periods are something weird or funny. Some girls keep their periods a secret.

But it shouldn’t be because periods are something natural and something we can’t control. Periods should not be ridiculed.


This is a Libresse commercial about how we should normalize periods and period blood.

Because it’s just blood, right?




Compare your conditions with those in Daba. 

Try to find the differences and the similarities by answering these questions:

  1. Can you talk openly about periods (with your parents, teacher or friends)?

  2. Are periods taken seriously?

  3. Do you have access to sanitary products?

  4. Are there superstitions about menstruation or not?

  5. Have you been educated about menstruation?

  6. Do you feel comfortable talking about menstruation? (why/ why not?)

  7. How would you like your country to improve on this matter?

  8. How can girls be helped in this kind of situations? 


How can you present your answers?


  • Choose your own way or:

  • Present differences between Daba and your country. 

  • Make a health care lesson about menstruation. You could explain why women get their periods, what periods are and how to deal with it. Maybe you can even quiz your classmates!




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