Celebrated annually on October 11th, the International Day of the Girl Child was declared by the United Nations General Assembly on December 19th, 2011. The importance of the celebration of this day is to raise awareness on challenges faced by girls globally pertaining to issues such as gender inequality; which entails education and job opportunities, forced girl child marriages, girl child trafficking, and violence against girls, just to mention a few.
Mother Of All Nations Foundation (MOANF) with support from the Global Fund for Children in collaboration with the African University College of Communication’s Development Communication Student Association (DEVCOMSA) Ama Ata Aidoo Center for Creative Writing, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl Child under the United Nations Children Fund’s (UNICEF) theme “The Time is Now; Our Rights, Our Future”. an event which was aimed at adding our voices to the awareness-building on the challenges faced by girls and finding solutions to these problems.
Dr. Jim Fara Awindorg Dean of the Kojo Yankah School of Communication of AUCC, who set the tone for the program in his delivery, called on all institutions as a matter of urgency take serious steps in empowering young women in order to reduce the challenges of how girls are subjugated into becoming the minority. He added that “patriarchy is practiced as a tradition in some parts of Ghana even though it is discriminatory and has no place in the 21st century where every child deserves to be treated fairly irrespective of their gender.” He expressed his delight with the collaboration with the MOANF in advocating for the empowerment of girls’ children.
The executive director of the Mother of All Nations foundation, Mr. Zico Abubakar Ishaq Newton, highlighted the pressures the girls go through on a daily basis in executing their housekeeping chores, combining them with their academic lives with the expectation of having better grades than their male counterparts. He spoke about the sexual exploitation of women when seeking jobs. He stated that he hopes that after the seminar, girls will wake up and empower themselves; and they should not wait for opportunities to be presented to them but create them themselves. He made a passionate appeal to girls to empower themselves by learning a skill or through petty trading.
Sussan Naa Lamiley Lamptey artistic director of Shutter Royal Studios, shared her experiences on how she was raised by a single mother amidst financial difficulties, forcing her to develop a career in photography. She stated that her career choice is a male-dominated area, and that she has to work extra hard like her male counterparts in order to be recognized. She added that it is necessary that this be done in order to pave the way for upcoming girls to have a reference point.
Ruby ……. and Stephen Ofosu, both development communication students at African University College of Communication. facilitated an open forum session that discussed the challenges girls face that limit their growth and also highlighted 21st century empowering ideas that can be implemented to equip ladies and amplify the voices of girls in the future for sustainable growth. Some of the ideas generated were the call for girls to undertake tech based courses since that is the future and this will give them an advantage.