By Harriet Kamashanyu on October 11, 2020

Her Voice Matters!!! Towards an Empowered Girl Child.

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On the International Day of the Girl (11 October), we join UN Women to celebrate girls everywhere as they inspire, break boundaries and take charge of their own future.

In 1995, the fourth World Conference on Women made history for the women’s rights agenda with the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the most visionary blueprint for the empowerment of women and girls.On the International Day of the Girl (11 October), we join UN Women to celebrate girls everywhere as they inspire, break boundaries and take charge of their own future.

For this year’s International Day of the Girl, we’re coming together under the theme “My Voice: Our equal future,” to celebrate all of the achievements by, with, and for girls since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the passage of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990.

It is 2020 and unfortunately, a host of commitments made to the girl child are left unfulfilled. Each year, 12 million girls under 18 are married; 130 million girls worldwide have no access to education, and approximately 15 million adolescent girls aged 15-19 are victims of sexual abuse.

More than 1.1 billion girls in the world have had enough. This year, on the International Day of the Girl, we’re sharing the stories of girls around the world calling to uphold the commitments made nearly 25 years ago and create a better future for all.

In the years following, women pressed this agenda forward, leading global movements on issues ranging from sexual and reproductive health rights to equal pay.

These movements have since expanded. They are being organized by and for adolescent girls – girls from all walks of life who are boldly demanding action against discrimination, violence, and poor learning opportunities. “My voice is my strongest weapon as a girl advocate. I want to effectively use it to create social change in influencing a new world for my fellow girls in Uganda.” Latifah Nansubuga, 17, Uganda 

This year, under the theme, “My voice, our equal future”, let’s seize the opportunity to re-imagine a better world inspired by adolescent girls – energized and recognized, counted, and invested in.

As adolescent girls worldwide assert their power as change-makers, International Day of the Girl 2020 will focus on their demands to live free from gender-based violence, early child marriages/pregnancies, HIV and AIDS, learn new skills towards the futures they choose and lead a generation of activists accelerating social change.  We want to continue celebrating the amplified voices of girls that have stepped up to voice against all kinds of injustices they and their communities face, not only in Uganda but worldwide.

Together we spread awareness, accountability, and action among youth and adults around the world.

While we protect the waters of our blue planet—our rivers, lakes, streams, groundwater, drinking water, and oceans—and other effects of climate change, we too need to voice out such injustices and conditions that have led to a high rate of teenage pregnancies across the country.

It is not enough to simply be a girl – but a girl with a voice that is amplified enough to cause positive change into perpetuity. The generation that will inherit this planet after today’s decision-makers are done with it, will need ingenuity and initiative to heal and protect it.

We, as the next generation can rise up together to become better decision-makers for each other and be our “sister’s” keeper especially now when COVID-19 has shattered the shelters that once protected us.

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