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By: Kristen Kimmel, MSW Candidate, Fordham University
In addition to interning with Loretto, I am also an intern with the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). During CSW 63, IASSW co-sponsored an event titled, “Social Protection for All Women and Girls: A Life Course Perspective on Policy Options.” This event covered different issues that females face throughout their lifespan. Birth to 2 years is a critical time for development. As infants, girls are more likely to suffer from inadequate nutrition and more likely to be neglected. Around the age that children enter school is when they are learning gender roles, and their caregivers set the course for this. From age 5-6, many children have to stay home to help out with the household to watch siblings, they become domestic servants. There is a large drop out rate around middle school age for girls. Many girls are married off for economic reasons, as many people feel they are one less mouth to feed, or the family is paid for their daughter to be married. Marrying young can cause health issues, and less skills. They have less opportunity to change their lives. In most developing countries, social protection is less than 20 years old. Overall, 35% of women worldwide have experienced some type of violence. With older women, prevalence is under estimated. Studies suggest that violence starts early in the life cycle. Experience of child abuse is now a risk factor for elder abuse. It is important that awareness about these issues are widespread and that people around the world have social protection so that they can live healthy and full lives.