By Prisca-Manyiwa Masuku
Girl child rights advocacy organisations have called for leaders to give opportunities to the girls so as to allow them participate in the decision making process.
In a statement made on the commemorations for the International Day for the Girl Child, Plan International Zimbabwe called for leaders to let the girls take the lead and participate on issues that affect their lives as societal norms and gender discrimination practices continue to suppress them.
“Plan International Zimbabwe is making a clarion call to leaders to let girls lead, participate and decide on issues that affect their lives, their bodies, and their futures.
‘The State of World’s Girls: The Truth Gap, a 2022 global survey of 29,000 girls and women aged 15-24, from 29 countries resonates with girls’ experiences in Zimbabwe. Girls are denied the right to shape the decisions that affect their lives, their bodies, and their futures.
‘They are dismissed as ‘too young’ to add value or held back by deep-rooted gender norms and discrimination practices,” read the statement.
Plan International’s Head of Programs Antoinette Ngoma highlighted that society needs to appreciate the knowledge and experience that girls and young women have as well as support them.
“We need to acknowledge and value the knowledge and experience that girls and young women already have, and to identify recommendations for how to best support girls’ and young women’s participation at a higher level for greater influence.” said Ngoma.
Furthermore, UNICEF Zimbabwe also called for the recognition of the girl child by giving them opportunities to develop their full potential so as to end child marriages.
“To end child marriage the perception of the role of women in society needs to change, adolescent girls need to be given the opportunity to develop their full potential as equal members in society.
“Adolescent girls are worth the investment when girls thrive, we all thrive, adolescent girls have shown time and time again that given the skills and the opportunities, they can be the change-makers driving progress in their communities, building back stronger for all, including women, boys and men,” read the statement by UNICEF Zimbabwe.
UNICEF also acknowledged the government of Zimbabwe’s support towards uplifting and protection of the girl child.
“Luckily, that message is gathering growing support and momentum, also in Zimbabwe.
“The awareness campaign launched a few months ago by UNICEF Zimbabwe and its partners to collect pledges to empower women and adolescent girls and to end child marriage has already been signed by more than 1000 people throughout the country,” the statement read.
In addition, UNICEF Zimbabwe pledged its willingness to support the government in adolescence girls empowerment.
“The European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe and UNICEF Zimbabwe want to renew their engagement to join forces with the Government and its partners to continue to invest towards the development and empowerment of adolescent girls.
“Equipped with the right resources, opportunities and an enabling environment, these girls will become a powerful generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers building Zimbabwe into a prosperous country for all.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe media fraternity has lost a seasoned journalist, Abigal Gamanya who was a champion on gender issue. Gamanya had over 20 years of experience which cut across different areas of media i.e broadcasting, print, digital and other forms of media.
Through her work, several women media workers were elevated, and received recognition and protection in their workplaces where she conscientised, and created awareness among both men and women on issues of sexual harassment and gender equality.
She will be buried tomorrow, Thursday, October 13 2022.