Nearly one in four adolescent girls experience physical violence

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A young girl carrying a baby in a village in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UN Photo/Martine Perret

Almost one quarter of girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide are victims of some form of physical violence, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The agency reports that globally, nearly half of adolescents girls believe a man is justified in beating his wife under certain circumstances such as refusing to have sex or leaving the house without permission.The UN says this mindset needs to change.

On this year's International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF and its partners are calling to empower adolescent girls and end the cycle of violence.

During an event at UN Headquarters, Canadian Minister of Status of Women Kellie Leitch explained the importance of marking this event.

” International Day of the Girl is important because it shines a light on the need to recognize girls' rights, including the right to live free of violence. The goal of this day is to improve the lives of girls around the world by promoting equal opportunity and treatments in areas such as law, nutrition, healthcare, education, training, as well as freedom from violence and abuse.”

UNICEF is also pointing to specific actions to prevent violence against girls, including keeping them in school.

The agency adds that the problem is global, but the solutions must be found at the national, community and family level.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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