Day of the Girl Child: Are we there yet?
SEE ALSO :Girl, 17, becomes Speaker for a dayBut Juma said what has enhanced the fight to champion girls’ rights is the fact that men are part of the campaign. “Not all men are against girls’ empowerment,” she said. Some of the challenges girls experience today include Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), early marriages and teenage pregnancy. Juma reiterated that curtailing girls’ education through retrogressive cultural practices will hurt their chances in taking up leadership positions. But more needs to be done, she said, citing the gender debate at the National Assembly, which was crippled by a botched quorum.
SEE ALSO :Abducted girl gives birthAs the gender rule debate hots up, women politicians battle calls to scrap the woman representative slot, a position meant to increase the number of women parliamentarians in the House. Speaking during the interview, the Kwale woman representative said, “Those against it fear the women are gaining popularity and may take up the men’s positions.” Juma called for girls’ and women’s involvement in decision-making forums, saying, “Leaving women behind is like playing soccer with half the team.” Some of the areas where retrogressive culture hurts girls’ development include West Pokot. World Vision and other stakeholders held a forum in the county on Thursday to mark the International Day of the Girl Child. Statistics show more than 67% of the population is uneducated, girls forming the majority. Residents said poor education is linked to poverty. “Girls need to be educated so they can take up leadership positions,” one speaker said.
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