A week-long programme of events and activities, based around the International Day of the Girl Child, is unfolding in Garowe, organised by the Puntland Ministry of Women Development and Family Affairs (MoWDAFA).
The activities include: Media talk-show for young leaders and women activists to discuss girls’ education, ending violence and cultivating young girls to lead; Good leadership and public speaking training for middle school young girls; Awareness raising session for parents in order to discourage the harmful practises like FGM and early marriage; Media campaign talk show on the importance of women’s political participation. Most of the 30 to 40 attendees the events are young university students and from secondary schools.
The Ministry also organized a sports event for young girls from IDP camps and host community (nine participants).
On October 14 a ceremony celebrating International Girl Child Day held in Garowe was attended by Puntland authorities, students and representatives from international and national organizations. The attendees included the Puntland Minister of Education, the Chairman of the Office of Puntland Human Rights Defender (OPHRD), representatives from Care international, World Vision, Save the Children and EUCAP Somalia. All the participants emphasized the importance of girls’ education, the need for working towards girls’ protection, and empowering them.
During the ceremony, the Puntland Minister of Women Marian Ali emphasized the commitment in working alongside girls in order to expand existing learning opportunities, map new pathways and requesting from the international community to rethink ways to prepare them for a successful transition into the work force. Thanking the international and national organisation for their support, Ms Ali emphasized the Ministry’s commitment in advancing girls and women’s wellbeing and empowerment.
On the same occasion, the Head of EUCAP Somalia Garowe’s Field Office Rintje Joustra said: “It is my humble opinion that in this era, governments, society, parents has a huge obligation to create a better world wherein girls are seen as an individual with all the rights every individual is entitled to.
Empowering girls will make them stronger and more able to cope with the situations they find themselves in”.
Since 2012 celebrations of International Day of the Girl have been held in October. Symbolically, 11 October is a day aiming at highlighting and addressing the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
The 2018 theme set by the United Nation is: With Her: A Skilled GirlForce
The reason is that today’s generation of girls are preparing to enter a world of work that is being transformed by innovation and automation. Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed or in education or training.
Of the 1 billion young people – including 600 million adolescent girls – that will enter the workforce in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector, where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.
Under the theme, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, International Day of the Girl will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.