The International Day of the Girl Child was on Monday commemorated in Accra with a call for some reflection on how well the fundamental rights of the “Girl Child” in relation to quality education and protection from all forms of violence and discrimination have been guaranteed.
This year’s event was on the theme: “My voice, our equal future,” and it aimed at creating awareness on online safety, abuse and harassments.
It was organised by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social protection in partnership with a number of Non-governmental Organisations (NGO) including, the United Nations, CAMFED, World Vision, Plan Ghana and Absa Ghana.
The day is marked annually to amplify the voices of the girl child and encourage them to stand up for their rights, following the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
As part of the commemoration, a debate on the topic “Empowerment of girls, a catalyst for Ghana’s sustainable development” with girls from the Central and Northern regions speaking for and against respectively.
The Minister for MoGSP, Mrs Cynthia Mamle Morrison, was enthused by the level of knowledge and insight demonstrated by the young girls in the debate and panel discussion.
“You have indeed demonstrated that when girls are empowered and given a voice they can do great exploits, it is my fervent prayer that you all grow, excel and become women of substance for mother Ghana,” she said.
She said that the public must recognise the unique challenges faced by the girl child and deliberate on matters concerning them for redress.
“We need to reflect on how well we have kept our promise of ensuring that every girl enjoys her fundamental rights of light, quality education and protection from all forms of violence and discrimination”, she said .
The UN Resident Coordinator to Ghana, Mr Charles Abani also added that the COVID -19 had presented the world with such unprecedented challenges that has delayed the progress made for gender equity and other rights impacting children and the most vulnerable, and called for investment and concerted efforts to address them.
The girl child day is a “multi-year, multi-partner campaign and movement for bold action on gender equality”. International Day of Girl Child 2020 marks 25 years of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action for working towards empowering girls and their rights globally.
The International Day of the Girl Child is a United Nations designated day, observed every year on October 11. This year’s Day of the Girl Child is also significant as the ‘Generation Equality’ campaign had been launched.
BY GLORIA NSIAH MINTAH