By Fatou Saho
In commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child 2023, Unicef has hosted a dialogue for girls to have their say on issues that are affecting them.
Adama Demba, the deputy speaker of the Children’s National Assembly, made a highlight on how and why it is important to invest in the rights, leadership and wellbeing of girls as part of this year’s theme.
She said: “We need to look at things that affect the girl child such as FGM/C, child marriage amongst others. We can invest in the wellbeing of girls by supporting teenage girls who are parenting and also create dialogue for them”.
Adama encouraged girls to talk about issues affecting them and to create a better platform for them.
She also called on other policy makers and developers to involve girls in their leadership portfolios.
The Unicef representative, Maria Vittoria Ballotta, said there are so many girls who are victims of violence and not many of them have opportunities.
“I heard girls outscore boys in schools. I am proud of you. I know you can do a lot in the society and it is important to celebrate it and it is important to keep giving you the opportunity to express yourself. We will listen to you,” she said.
Madam Ballotta acknowledged the Woman Boss initiative for their work beyond the commemoration and urged the girls to strengthen partnership with boys and men.
Awa Mary Lowe Khan, the CEO of the Woman Boss expressed excitement over the celebration which comes in a form of discussion.
“We felt it is important for a day like this to remind people especially policy makers, community leaders and stakeholders the importance of investing in our young girls. Every time you educate a girl, there is more likely that they will also educate their children. Anytime you invest in a girl or an educated girl, they will invest back to their communities. It is crucial that we continue to have discussions like this and hear their own voices”.