As Uganda a waits the International Day of the Girl Child slated for 11th October, Girls Flourish an organisation that aims at ending all discrimination against women and girls in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and UNWOMEN a united nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women have launched the Girls Flourish Annual Awards aimed at celebrating great men and women transforming lives of girls.
Movements have been organized by and for adolescent girls, and tackling issues like child marriage, education inequality, gender-based violence, climate change, self-esteem, and girls’ rights to enter places of worship or public spaces during menstruation. Girls are proving that they are unscripted and unstoppable.
Through the annual awards, girls are empowered for a brighter future and this is done by collective commitment and innovative approaches that account to the mind set change as well as need for the deliberate mentorship of the girl child.
While addressing the media, Mondo Kyateeka Commissioner for children and youths said girls are still facing challenges like sexual harassment, school drop-outs among others even when the government and civil society have put up many efforts to improve the status of girls.
“In addition to recognizing policies, programs and individuals that have and are still doing a lot to better the status of girls, the awards will shade light to issues and challenges that girls are still facing,” remarked while speaking to the media.
“It is said that celebrating and appreciating people for their contributions are approved and tested method of motivating excellence and commitment to a cause.” Kyateeka explains.
A panel of judges was drawn from nationally and internationally credible organisations that included bankers association, equal opportunities commission and Uganda journalists association among others and they nominated according to different categories including;
Among children “Standing in the gap category” which the late Yvonne Namaganda who died in the February 16th 2016 Buddo Secondary School fire while saving other students was nominated.
In the entertainment field “the woman who uplifts our spirits” also nominated re-known stand-up comedian Anne Kansiime among others.
Under media “the woman shaping societies thinking” Faridah Nakazibwe who works as a news anchor at NTV with Omulongo Sarah Babirye star fm and the winners will be awarded with medals.
These awards will help bring on other individuals to acknowledge the fact that helping a girl child is essential among other issues because they face the most problems like early marriages, defilement, rape, early pregnancies, violence, menstrual problems and these contribute to them dropping out of schools.
Those that have contributed in society towards girl child education and wellbeing will serve as an example to others which motivates them to join fight whether male or female.
Catherine Opondo, the director girls flourish recognised the contribution rendered by the UN Women to promote the girls flourish annual awards initiative in Uganda.