India

Plan India releases ‘State of the Girl Child in India’ 2013 Report

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NEW DELHI: Nearly 80% adolescent girls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh say that disasters have an adverse impact on their access to safe shelter, according to a report released on Monday. They also suffer from lack of privacy and dignity at home or relief camps after disaster, the study says.

'The State of the Girl Child India Report' , compiled by Plan International, points out that gender bias in terms of access to food was reported by about one-third adolescent girls across all four states, with the iniquities being higher in Bihar, UP and Andhra Pradesh as compared to Rajasthan.

Both adolescent girls (70% or more) and boys (80% in Rajasthan , Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and 62% boys in Andhra) said that young girls are especially hard-hit because of lack of sanitation facilities at times of disasters as they cannot go for open defecation and are confronted with privacy issues.

The report said that 45-58 % adolescents feared being married off early. This opinion was held by 45% of all repsondents in Rajasthan, 50% of the respondents in Andhra and 58% in Bihar. More than one-fourth of girls in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh feared being sold off or trafficked after a disaster.

"There's growing need to look at disasters from a development perspective. Disasters can have devastating effect on communities and can significantly set back development efforts ," Plan International head Ellen Margrethe Loj said.