Advancing girls’ leadership by working directly with girls
Conducted “Girls’ Parliaments” through which girls engaged with key stakeholders like police and child
protection unit, political as community advocacy to end child marriage in the communities at sub county and
district level. 70 girls trained to lead the Girls parliament, and 285 Adolescent girls and young women aged
13-24 years and participate in the Girls parliament, Conducted Sexual Reproductive Health Right and
Gender Based Violence mentoring and role modelling for in 5 schools and 14 communities through debates,
poetry and MDD reaching 210 Adolescent girls and young women.
Conducted training of 25 trainers of peer educators on Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education
who conducted peer educations on Life skills based Comprehensive sexuality education sessions for 520
girls and 304 boys.
“My name is Gloria. I am 17 years old, I live in [a village in Soroti] I remember when my mother left me at home. My aunt’s first-born moved into our house. This is when things became bad. My cousin started telling me about marriage and that I had to get married.
I was very young at the age of 16. She took advantage of my age and because of her, I got married. At that very time, I fell pregnant. My mother was still not back from her project work in another district. Time went by and I gave birth, which did not make me happy because of the suffering. I lived like a slave because I had no time to rest, nor to be happy.
I had to run away. I left everything – it was just me and my child. I left the man and went back home. When I went to clan leader, he said that he didn’t want any girl child below the age of 21 to get married. I went back to my mother’s home and found my two brothers there. They said “No, my sister. Just stay here, don’t go During that time my mother came back home, and she was surprised to find out that I was in a marriage. Then she started asking me questions of what happened, and I told her what happened. Then my mother called the family and asked them what was happening, and she said that she was going to take the matter to the police. The family refused to take the matter to the police, which made her very sad. They said “No, don’t do that. Only God knows”.
The father of the child does not support the child. My mother is the one who takes care of everything that the child needs, and things became better. That is when I began sensitising young people and also teaching them about their rights and responsibilities because I don’t want them to become the lost, but the found.”
My name is Isiku and I am 23 years old. I live in Arapai and I am a volunteer at SCOEN. I became an activist because as someone who experienced challenges of teen pregnancy, I wanted to help put an end to early child marriage and teen pregnancies. At SCOEN I am a Champion of Change facilitator on ending child marriages, promoting gender equality and children’s rights.
For the movement that aims to end early, child and forced marriage, I wish to see all those children who were involved to make it back to school and succeed in life. I would like to continue sensitizing communities on the importance of education and the danger of getting pregnant at an early age. One day, I would like to become a Community Developer of SCOEN because I have seen so many activities that needs more attention in our communities.
Dorothy is a young volunteer at SCOEN. Her motivation for becoming an activist was to help end early child marriage. She was once a victim of early child marriage and as a result, wanted to help others avoid the situation she was in. With regards to the social movement to end early, child and forced marriage, Dorothy would like to see all people sensitized to the issue. She hopes that her role will be influential in her own community.
When asked what she would like to become one day, Dorothy explained, “I would like to become a police woman one day to help or work with the community”.
GIVING GIRLS A VOICE
Supporting young female leaders is critical to achieving gender equality.
By giving girls a voice, many of the challenges they face can be overcome. This will help accelerate change and ensure their needs are addressed effectively.
Participation can also improve the quality of services, policies, governance and access to justice. Supporting young female leaders to play a strong political, economic and social role is critical to achieving gender justice.
We have a vision that all girls and young women will be able to participate in decision-making processes that affect them by 2030. This vision mirrors that of the global goals being implemented. We are committed to achieving this by supporting young female leaders and working to promote the voices of young women and girls. We are also developing a report alongside partners that will track the progress of the girl-related global goals. It will ensure global leaders are being held to their promise of achieving gender equality.
We also work with boys and men to overcome discrimination and gender inequality. We empower boys and men to be actively involved and committed to redistributing power in decision-making processes. This means the voices and needs of women and girls receive the attention and respect they deserve
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