‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’ - International Day of the Girl 2020
Peace is 16 years old. She wakes up twice at dawn to breastfeed her 6-month-old baby. As one of the brightest students in Katejeli Junior High School, Peace has won the admiration of her peers, teachers and her headmaster. “I am very intelligent and do well in class, so the teachers like me a lot. My favourite subjects are mathematics and social studies” she says.
Peace almost gave up the idea of returning to school after delivering her baby. Through relentless encouragement of her teachers and sister in law, she re-enrolled and is back in the classroom. She drops off her baby with her brother’s wife before she gets to school at 6:30 am. During the 9:30 am and 12:30 pm breaks, she dashes off to breastfeed her baby. “I dream of becoming a midwife” she states, adding that she wants “to be there for the young mothers and their babies during childbirth. I feel they need someone at that point in their lives to assure them that pregnancy is not the end of life. When I got pregnant, I thought my education was over. Now I have a second chance.”
International Day of the Girl Child, (IDGC), has been observed annually since 2012. The Day draws attention to the triumphs and challenges of girls like Peace. It is both a celebration of the lives of girls and a call for action to address the critical issues that affect them, recognise their right to full participation in society and put their interests at the heart of development. Read further.