As the world celebrates International Day of the Girl Child today with focus on “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030”, let’s share some thoughts on their challenges and opportunities among other factors.
Research has shown that there are about 600 million girls aged 10 to 19 in the world today. This is enormous with the fact that each of these girls have great potential and can be a significant force to making the world a better place.
Unfortunately, most of them have low self esteem and lack confidence due to inequities in schools, child abuse and protection issues etc., which undermines their capabilities to play an active role in society. There should be systems in place to check, minimise and possibly get-rid of such challenges. According to the United Nations (UN), “…girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity…” with the ability to make a difference in the world.
At a certain stage in their lives, adolescent girls are faced with both external and internal changes. When these girls undergo physical, emotional and behavioural changes due to the alteration in their hormone levels, it is necessary for their parents / guardians to help them get through this stage by educating and engaging them hence; having discussions on the issue and considering their opinions without judging or criticizing them.
Policies that enable adolescent girls to benefit from opportunities everywhere in the world regardless, must be strengthened to support their aspirations. Governments, institutions and leaders must also initiate and expand targeted investments and training programmes that address their distinct needs. Let’s invest in our girls! Let’s believe in our girls! #DayoftheGirl