Today October 11, we celebrate The International Day of the Girl Child. This event focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. The world is home to more than 1.1 billion girls under age 18, who are poised to become the largest generation of female leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers the world has ever seen.
However, progress for empowering girls and women has not kept pace with the realities they face today, and COVID-19 has reinforced many of these gaps. This year, under the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, let’s seize the opportunity to be inspired by what girls see as the change they want, the solutions- big and small- they are leading and demanding across the globe.
As girls worldwide assert their power as change-makers, this year’s International Day of the Girl focuses on their demands to:
Live free from gender-based violence, harmful practices, and HIV and AIDS
Learn new skills towards the futures they choose
Lead as a generation of activists accelerating social change
In Sierra Leone, our women make up the majority of informal traders, subsistence rural farmers and an increasing number as heads of households. Yet in our current political system the voices of girls, women and young people are not being heard or valued.
Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality is crucial to accelerating sustainable development and prosperity for our nation. Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right, but it also has a multiplier effect across all other development areas. Only by ensuring the rights of women and girls will we get to justice and inclusion and sustaining our shared environment now and for future generations.
As a father, a husband and a brother, I encourage every girl and all women today, and I say to you, believe in yourself, be brave! Whatever your dream is or your wish is, go for it! Challenge yourself, show the world that you are stronger, smarter and wiser! What any man can do, you can do it better! I believe in you! I believe in the girl power!
These are the issues that inspire me and my Unifier team to take the challenge and to campaign for the All People’s Congress (APC) Party Presidential candidate for the 2023 elections.
My leadership will vigorously pursue gender equality in all areas of life including employment, access to finance, health and education.