Since 2012, 11 October has been marked 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.
Nearly 25 years ago, some 30,000 women and men from nearly 200 countries arrived in Beijing, China for the Fourth World Conference on Women, determined to recognize the rights of women and girls as human rights. The conference culminated in the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action: the most comprehensive policy agenda for the empowerment of women.
Young and Alive Initiative coordinated a local event in partnership with other organizations in Mbeya to commemorate the International Day of a Girl Child. The event was conducted at the new testament church on the 12th of October. A total of 33 girls between the age of 12 - 20 attended the event.
Apart from getting together and have fun, girls learned from different stakeholders that day on the following topics;
Girls rights: This was presented by Judge Tedy Raphael Mlimba, Resident Magistrate of Mbarali district. She covered the function of law enforcement systems and how girls can and should benefit from it when they face trouble. She insisted on understanding their basic rights and laws that protect girls and children and the role of government and community in the protection of children and girls.
Girls health: This was covered by Sesilia Shirima, sexual and reproductive health expart and Chief Executive Officer of Young and alive initiative. She covered Menstrual hygiene, gender based violence and family planning. The session was engaging and fun and used storytelling.
Girls education: This was covered by Elizabeth. She started by telling her own story, how she suffered from not being being given equal chances like boys in education. Her struggle to become a media personality. She insisted on the importance of education to girls to reach their desired dreams.
Girls with life skills: This was covered by Tatu said. Where she was talking on innovation, globalization and being bold to girls to reach their dreams no matter what.
Parenting: Pastor Mutayoba talked on Parents responsibility and how the spiritual people should protect the girls rights. He talked on behalf of parents and as a father since the most African culture created the gap between father and daughters in parenting. The event lasted for 7 hours with a lot of funny and productive. Girls were different at the end. They network and embrace their strength as girl child.