PYD Statement on the 2017 International Day of the Girl Child

11 October 2017

Platform for Youth Development Trust (PYD) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child (IDG). The International Day of the Girl Child is observed annually on 11 October since 2012. The day is set aside for governments, civic society and communities to increase awareness on issues of gender inequality faced by young women and girls. It is a day to celebrate the unique roles girls play in our communities. The theme for this year 2017 is Empower the Girls: Emergency response and resilience planning.

On this day, PYD takes pride in showcasing what the organization has been doing in Chipinge district, Manicaland Province. Through a dedicated team of empowered 20 Gender activists, PYD is providing voice and inspiration to rural and grassroots’ young women and girls aimed at preventing and mitigating harmful cultural practices in Chipinge district. Our theory of change at PYD is that, if young women and girls are given adequate knowledge about their rights and supported by their peers, they can address and transform harmful gender practices

This year’s theme resonates well with the work being done by PYD in Chipinge. Chipinge district is arguably an emergency setting in as far as the position of young girls and women are concerned.

Gender based violence targeted at girls continues to be on the rise. There has been recorded high statistics of early and forced child marriages, increased poverty aggravated by gender imbalances resulting in school dropouts of young women and girls.

Cases of exploitation are high among girls aged between 5 and 14 who spend more time doing household chores than boys of their age.

Discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunities have created glaring gaps in data and knowledge between the girl and boy child. Lack of proper services and health information (menstrual health and hygiene) by government has disadvantaged girls and young women. The unfairness in opportunities in education, or gender violence, sexism, climate change and platforms for dialogue have all been a concern for PYD programming.

PYD commends the Zimbabwean government through the work being done by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare and Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development to help domesticate various child protection instruments (Victims Friendly Unit, Department of Child Welfare and protection services etc).

The outlawing of child marriages remains a milestone achievement in the journey to empower the girl child. Marrying girls before they are 18 years of age takes away their potential and disadvantages their economic independence and growth.

PYD will commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child at Checheche growth point on Saturday the 15th of October 2017. On this day, 30 young women and girls including the 20 gender activists will spend the day at the PYD offices sharing experiences and stories on how best they can overcome the threat paused by gender inequalities and the harmful cultural practices. The day will be celebrated through art, poetry and song as intimate stories about the girl child are being shared.

Inserted by PYD Information Department

P.Bag 5004, Checheche, Chipinge

platformtrust@gmail.com

For more Information Contact PYD Director on +263 773 010 331/ + 263 714 179 219

PYD Gender and Advocacy Officer at +263 774 163 081

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