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Why we need to raise our girls bold and assertive

By Vision Reporter

Added 15th September 2015 01:06 PM

By Harriet Kamashanyu The New Vision has been running series on first lady hopefuls since last week. Many of these profiled ladies were at the fore front of their husbands’ success.

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Harriet Kamashanyu is the country co-odinator Let Girls Lead

By Harriet Kamashanyu

The New Vision has been running series on first lady hopefuls since last week. Many of these profiled ladies were at the fore front of their husbands’ success.

While addressing women in sports at a conference organised by the Uganda Olympic Committee, Norah Nassimbwa, the presidential assistant in charge of sports advised women in sports to be bold and assertive.

She testified on how her bold statement about President Museven’s weight during his visit to Makerere University where she was pursuing a sports science course earned her a job in State House.

In 2000, the United Nations celebrated the new millennium by creating eight international development goals to be reached by 2015. However, girls were left out of these Millennium Development Goals - girls were invisible and their voices were totally unheard. During the Rio+20 Conference member States agreed to launch a process to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will build upon the Millennium Development Goals and converge with the post 2015 development agenda.

During the Third International Conference on Financing for Development” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in July 2015, delegates highlighted the fact that letting women and girls have a say in where village water holes and maternal health clinics are built, is the only means to ensure women and girls’ needs are met in development planning. Inequalities are driven and sustained by global and national structural factors and determinants including: discrimination; lack of access to resources; unequal representation and participation; biased, ineffective or corrupt governance structures at national and international levels. All these factors combined serve as barriers to girls reaching their potential and fully participating in society – circumstances that persist from generation to generation.

 In a joint report by Plan International and ODI on ‘Young People’s engagement in strengthening accountability for the post-2015 agenda’, involving children and young people, including adolescent girls, in the monitoring, follow up and review of the SDGs will not only strengthen accountability, but will also strengthen implementation, improve outcomes and fulfill the right of adolescent girls to participate in decisions that affect them. By measuring what matters and fulfilling girls’ right to be heard, we ensure that the SDGs will truly leave no adolescent girl behind.

From May 1-4, 2015 Let Girls Lead invested in 36 adolescent girls between the ages of 10-19 years-old from every region in Uganda to engage national decision-makers. As girl leaders, they have continued to use different platforms to amplify their voices using key messages for instance when they met the Gender Minister – Hon Mukasa Muruli, this resulted into new government strategies. Government launched a five year strategy to end child marriage and teenage pregnancies on the day of the African Child celebration in Kayunga.

 At the end of this month (September), the heads of State and Government will come together to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. In anticipation of this momentous occasion, Let Girls Lead is working with partners to convene government officials, representatives of UN agencies, and civil society to create a platform for girls to share their messages and influence the localisation of the SDGs in Uganda through a “High-Level Meeting” tomorrow (September 15) in Kampala.

 It is the first time the international community has come together around a common agenda for girls. The world has woken up and acknowledged the plight – but most importantly the power – of girls. It is a united effort! Let us make this the moment the world listens to girls.

The writer is the country co-odinator Let Girls Lead
 

Why we need to raise our girls bold and assertive

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