Everyone should feel safe walking to school; however, girls in at least 70 countries have faced threats, violent attacks, and other abuse just for trying to go to school over the past five years.
This dramatic rise in attacks against girls accessing education alarms the UN human rights department, which released a report on violence against schoolgirls, including the nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped last year, the 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, and the forced removal of girls from school by al-Shabab in 2010.
This rising tide of attacks against girls at school has far-reaching consequences, according to the report’s authors.
“The removal of girls from education due to fears for their security and concerns about their subsequent marriageability may result in additional human rights violations such as child and forced marriage, domestic violence, early pregnancy, exposure to other harmful practices, trafficking and sexual and labor exploitation,” the report said.
The authors conclude that these attacks cannot be prevented without addressing broader patterns of violence and discrimination against women and girls.