Concerns of the girl child notably unmet

October 12, 2015 5:59 am
Young girls study for exams at a makeshift centre in Kibera, Nairobi.
Young girls study for exams at a makeshift centre in Kibera, Nairobi.

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – UNICEF has listed issues that it wants addressed as the world marked the International Day of the Girl Child, 2015.

In its message, UNICEF Kenya Representative Pirkko Heinonen said that girls are affected because of issues such as preventable diseases, child marriage and the lack of an investment in the policies, services and initiatives that could strengthen their futures and maximize their potential, hence the raised issues.

Themed ‘The power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision 2030’, the concerns raised include giving adolescent girls the status and attention that they deserve when planning policies, programmes and investment.

The next issue that UNICEF has raised is investing in high quality education, skills training, access to technology and other learning initiatives that prepare girls for life, jobs and leadership.

UNICEF is also concerned about health and nutrition. It is therefore asking stakeholders to invest in health and nutrition that is suitable for adolescent years, including services and education on puberty, menstrual hygiene management, and sexual and reproductive health.

The organisation is also asking stakeholders to promote zero-tolerance for physical, mental and sexual violence.

UNICEF is also asking stakeholders to combat Female Genital mutilation.

“Enacting and consistently implementing social, economic and policy mechanisms to combat early marriage and female genital mutilation and cutting,” reads the report that appeared on an advertising feature in a local newspaper.

Stakeholders have also been asked to invest in the creation and maintenance of social and public spaces for civic and political engagement, creativity and talent enhancement.

Finally, UNICEF is asking stakeholders to promote gender-responsive legislation and policies across all areas, especially for adolescent girls who are living with disabilities, vulnerable and marginalised, and victims of trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Established in 2011 by a United Nations resolution, the day focuses on different themes. Such include 2012’s ending child marriage, 2013’s innovating for girl’s education and 2014’s empowering adolescent girls; ending the cycle of violence.


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