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Girl child Education, Civil society suggest revised strategy

By Martin Kitubi

Added 3rd April 2017 02:50 PM

Civil society activists including Irene Mutumba the country director at Private Education Development Network (PEDN) called for a revised strategy that involves men to champion girl's education.

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Executive Director of Private Education Development Network (PEDN) Irene Mulumba (left) and the National Female MP Anna Adeke during the launch raising awareness campaign on the Girls Education Fund at Acacia Mall Kampala 29 march 2017.Photo by Wilfred Sanya

Civil society activists including Irene Mutumba the country director at Private Education Development Network (PEDN) called for a revised strategy that involves men to champion girl's education.

According to Uganda's demographic statistics 2016, in a population of about 38 million people, a 14 year old girl especially in rural areas is at risk of conceiving in her teen years.


Likely a teenage girl is twice at risk of entering an early marriage, contract HIV/AIDS and dropout of school compared to their male counterparts.

The demographic statistics also indicate that for every 100 girls that enter primary school, only six of them complete secondary school unlike their male counterparts.

Civil society activists including Irene Mutumba the country director at Private Education Development Network (PEDN) called for a revised strategy that involves men to champion girl's education.

This was raised yesterday at Acacia Mall in Kampala during the launch of a fundraising campaign and public awareness on the value of girls' completing an education.

In her speech Mutumba said," We have only engaged female activists for women's and girls' rights, the new strategy should engage total participation of men to attain women's emancipation and end gender inequality."

She stressed that the current gender inequality strategy portrays the importance of women's rights than educating and calling for a harmonious living between the two sexes.

"Men passive gender equality as a move to undermine them at home and this explains why many have not joined the straggle.

We should talk about their daughters' rights this would bring them closer since no man would want his children battered." Mutumba said.

However she recommended that boys rights 'shouldn't be forgotten adding that with time, the number of boys mistreated would be high.
 
"We have forgotten the rights of a boy child, almost everyone has abandoned them assuming that they are not facing any challenges but they really need counseling." Mutumba added.

Like Mutumba, James Kabogoza the assistant commissioner in charge of children affairs at the ministry of gender, urged men must be at the front to attain gender equality than women.

He stressed that most forced marriages and early marriages have been backed by men and therefore the problems regarding girls' education can be addressed by men to.

"Only few men are available during parenting, cases of single mothers are rampant today and few men have contributed to their daughter's education and therefore sensitization is required."

He added," we should change the message, strategies regarding women's education and girls' rights. Civil societies should join hands than championing gender equality independently the move will be of low cost and with a joint force."

The assistant commissioner  expressed government commitment to combat the vice and called them to cooperate with the ministry to arrest children molesters.

Colette Marcellin the Charge D'Affaires, US embassy advised Ugandans to invest in girls education adding that," When girls' stay in school longer, they are less likely to contract HIV/AIDS, lower pregnancy rates and often less vulnerable to domestic violence."

Cultural norms

Anna Adeke the National Youth MP called for revised cultural practices like "women must be submissive to men" adding such norms have contributed to gender inequality.

"We are taught by our parents right from childhood that women must be submissive to men, kneel before them and adhere to their demands; this is the main cause of domestic violence and gender inequality." Adeke said.

 

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