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Now More Than Ever We Must Renew Our Focus-Guterress

By Own Correspondent

Girls have a voice and they can use that voice to ensure that their territory is not vandalized by male chauvinists and other charlatans. This came out during symposium held at Checheche where girls from various secondary schools converged to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child.

Checheche, Chipangayi and Takwirira High Schools’ representatives from the girl’s perspective converged to map the way forward on October 11 2022.

Following the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995, there were feverish efforts by the international community to arrest the worsening conditions of the girl child. The United Nations made 11 October every year to be the day when the world is reminded that the girl child is equally important and deserve to be treated in the same way that boys are treated.

With this in mind, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Antonio Guterress, said: ‘’Now, more than ever, we must renew our commitment to work together so that girls enjoy and exercise their rights and can play a full and equal part in their communities and societies. Investing in girls is investing in our common future.’’

On Tuesday this week, Checheche residents witnessed a brief march by girls from different schools as they aired out their views on the day of the girl child. As soon as they finished the awareness campaign, they were joined by their teachers and other gender activists in the PYCD (Platform for Youth and Community Development) conference room to deliberate on ways and means off empowering the girl child in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic that wreaked havoc in the world since 2020 and the world is not out of the youths yet.

Checheche High School teacher of English, Ms Primrose Kashangura, said girls are the ones who run the world and it is important that they are empowered and must not think that the world has ended simply because they have run into emotional and physical dead ends.

‘’Each day should bring you joy girls. No one is worth dying for. Focus should be on you as the girl child. Your eyes ought to be on the ball,’’ she said much to the appreciation of the children.

One girl, Chipo Mufambi, said that girls are stressed. Because of that and several other reasons, girls may not tell a parent or guardian when she finds herself between a rock and a hard place. That was testified by a number of girls who participated in the symposium.

‘’We can’t tell our parents about issues related to sexuality. They say we cannot reveal rape perpetrated by an uncle as that would tarnish the image of the family,’’ Chenai said after Allan Murozvi had asked who they talk to when they have issues.

Communication between parents and the girl is of utmost importance. All the girls there who are predominantly in Form 2 and 3 said it was easy to talk to their teachers. They said even then, parents are reluctant to allow their children to expose the family ‘secrets’ to outsiders.

Linda (not her real name) said: ‘’our mothers use hurtful words when we tell them about abuse. They are in the diaspora with our fathers. We become victims of circumstances. If we have focus groups, we may be able to counter the peer pressure that engulfs us.’’

Ms Irikidzai Mtetwa, a cultural guru, based at Checheche said the rush to the diaspora by both parents gives birth to teenage mischief as the girl child is left exposed to the vultures.

‘’As a cultural expert, my advice to you is that wait for the time to do certain things. I also urge parents to spare a thought for the girl child when they go to the diaspora. Inasmuch as you want to work for the children, we must not lose our souls just because we want to escape poverty,’’ she urged.

The theme for this year’s celebration of The International Day for the Girl Child is : Girls deserve better-the world deserves better.

It is time to work on solutions to challenges the girl child faces.