It must be remembered that all girls in the world today, have limitless individual potential, however they are disappearing from public awareness and the international development agenda due to avoidable barriers that has been placed to impede their growth in all spheres of life. Between inequities in primary and secondary education to protection issues, adolescent girls ought to be uniquely impacted and should benefit from targeted investments and programmes that address their distinct needs. Investing in girls invariably can have a formidable ripple effect to create a better world by 2030. On this International Day of the Girl, commentsafricainvites you to join in highlighting the unique challenges and potential of the girl child in Africa and how best they can be addressed.
Globally, it is estimated that over 1 billion children aged 2 to 17 years, experience some level of either physical, sexual, emotional or multiple types of violence, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men report having been sexually abused as a child (UNICEF, 2014) It is from such horrid background that, 11 October, since 2012 has been penciled as the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity – and the millions of girls in emergencies are no exception hence the need for this day to help create awareness on the challenges confronting the girl child.
This year’s theme for the International Day of the Girl Child (Day of the Girl) was “THE POWER OF THE ADOLESCENT GIRL: VISION FOR 2030.”
Students of The Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (including Climate change) (PAUWES) in Tlemcen Algeria, were not left out of this year’s celebration as females from the forth cohort of the university took turn to express their views on how best to empower young girls in Africa and the world at large.
Rama Mamdouh from Egypt had this to say “Don’t listen to anyone but yourself. Don’t be limited by beliefs that prevents you from accessing education and work. Try to explore, take your right and be on top of your world. In fact, chase your dreams”
Ruth Wambui from Kenya believes girls must “Be confident, fearless, limitless, be hopeful and respectful”
“Whichever family, village or country you come from. You are valuable more than what people consider you to be. Never stop believing in yourself. People will underestimate you but remember you are more powerful than you think. Girls, this is your era, you must pick and grab right away any opportunity that comes your way”- Benigne Ishimae from Rwanda lamented.
Coming from Ghana, Sarah Okorno asserted that “Girls should take education serious. Since education is the key to everything, they should seek for knowledge by reading wide”
Aminata Kone from Mali advised: “For young girls, they should study hard. The African girl child doesn’t study but prefer marriage as a safe haven for life which is NEVER TRUE. This is a problem that must be solved. The African girl child must study and all things including marriage will follow in order.
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