The international day of the girl child is celebrated annually on 11th October. The main aims of the day are to promote girl’s empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face. This year’s theme worldwide is “My Voice, Our Equal Future”.
In Uganda, these celebrations are also going to be held in Koboko district and Femme Talk West Nile, a local community based organization that was launched less than a month ago in Koboko district has managed to organize an event to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child in Koboko after a few years of this day not being celebrated.
Femme Talk West Nile, is the one that we shall look at, getting us to drive in through the day as Uganda celebrates the day. In partnership with organizations on ground, Koboko Women Forum, Partners in Community Transformation (PICOT), Youth and Women Community Development Organization, they look forward to the impact of this Community Dialogue.
More so, stakeholders have been called for joint efforts from men and other development partners in advocating against Gender-based violence (GBV), Teenage Pregnancy, and more. And celebrations are at the Youth and Women Community Development Organization center in Gbulagbulanga on Koboko-Ora’ba Road.
(Case in study) According to the United Nations Development Programme, Uganda is transitioning from a de facto one-party state and there’s need to examine gender equality in public administration in the country, courses, women are now in the majority.
Women constitute 33 percent, with the majority at the lowest levels (ROU, 2011). Women make up only 22 percent of senior management Public Service positions and 16 percent of middle management positions (ROU, 2011).
Putting this in mind, we ought to know that the increased marginalization of women is still on and rampant in most rural areas. As a result of the pandemic, the government set guidelines among these include the lockdown and limitation on movement, and this has greatly affected those in the rural areas.
Currently, Koboko district has registered over 800 cases of teenage pregnancy within the lockdown, and many of these could be as result of forced marriage, cultural reasons, s3xual harassment, rape, to mention but a few.
In other parts of the country, districts are dealing with similar increases in teenage pregnancy and some in defilement, rape and the like. According to the New Vision newspaper of 8th September, Uganda has registered over 6,800 cases of defilement in the last 6 months.
These cases are definitely alarming and for a team of passionate people towards girl child solidarity, we can together join forces and make Koboko District a safe place for our young girls and women.
Koboko District has one of the highest cases of registered teenage pregnancies in West Nile Sub region. With a conclusive threat of an assumption that about 5 girls get pregnant weekly in each subcounty in the district.
Apart from teenage pregnancies, there are a number of other uncouth acts towards the marginalization of the girl child which include difficulty to access to s3xual reproductive health, menstrual health management, and many others.
The narrative is the same for all African countries, different districts in Uganda, and as we commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child on 11th October, Femme Talk West Nile in partnership with other Girl Child, Women, and Youth-Led organizations can make a great impact of an analysis.