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‘Girl takeovers’ empowering young girls to achieve their dreams

By Jacky Achan

Added 20th October 2018 04:24 PM

UNFPA on Wednesday also handed over its gender specialist office to an 11-year-old Leticia Nayonjo and the sexual reproductive health rights office to 12-year-old Martha Kirabo, both from John Baptist Primary school Kabalagala.

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UNFPA on Wednesday also handed over its gender specialist office to an 11-year-old Leticia Nayonjo and the sexual reproductive health rights office to 12-year-old Martha Kirabo, both from John Baptist Primary school Kabalagala.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Uganda Country Representative, Alain Sibenaler handing officer to young Patience Aciro. Photos by Jacky Achan

Girls are staging takeovers all over the world and one such girl is the 10 –year-old Patience Aciro of Masozi Primary School Wakiso district, who took over  office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Uganda Country Representative, Alain Sibenaler.


UNFPA on Wednesday also handed over its gender specialist office to an 11-year-old Leticia Nayonjo and the sexual reproductive health rights office to 12-year-old Martha Kirabo, both from John Baptist Primary school Kabalagala.

The decision to hand over the offices for an hour to the girls on Wednesday October 17, 2018 is aimed at empowering many other young girls in Uganda to realise their potential and dreams in a male dominated world.

atience ciro Patience Aciro

 
This was one of the activities to mark the International day of the girl child celebrated on October 11, 2018, under the global theme “With her; a skilled girl force” continues in the country.

Aciro chaired a meeting that had Sibenaler in attendance, the UNFPA Gender and human rights specialists Florence Auma and her peers including Zahara Nabakooza,19, who on October 11, 2018 in New York took over the office of the UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem.

During the meeting, among issues highlighted that affect the girl child was the high level of school dropout. This is as a result of defilement, lack of fees, being orphaned, poverty and the lack of menstrual pads.

Kirabo proposed having a programme to educate girls about pregnancy and also called for the provision of menstrual pads in schools to keep young girls in school pursuing their education and a bright future.

Nanyonjo on her part asked for skilling programmes in schools so that those who drop out have skills to depend on.

 
Girls in Uganda still face challenges in their quest for quality education and gainful employment in a progressive work environment.

Unfortunately, by 17 years of age, nearly 50%  of girls are out of school, according to Plan International Uganda, an organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

Fortunately, the Government has made reforms to skills development level of the business, technical vocational education and training to enhance employment, productivity and growth.

The presidential initiative on skilling the girl child has already enrolled and graduated over 1000 girls in hands on skills such as baking, tailoring weaving and shoe making to enable girls start small businesses. It is envisaged that these girls will later grow to employ others and create wealth.

Achiro said girls today have an opportunity to take over key roles and all three of them after the work experience have, promised to labour hard to attain the position they briefly assumed at UNFPA.

 ender and human rights specialists lorence umaUNFPA Gender and human rights specialists Florence Auma

 
Sibenaler pledged to have his door open for the girls to come, learn and realise their dreams.

On his part, Stephen Nabende the head of operations Plan International Uganda that organised the girl take overs says the empowerment process is ongoing until they meet their objective to reach 100 million girls cross the world to make change in their life.

Some of the key offices girls took over this year include that of the Director innovations at UNICEF, Executive Director UN Women and Danish Minister for Development cooperation at the UN General Assembly.



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