Commemoration Of Girl Child – A Positive Milestone

Feb 20, 2013

Female School children were given the opportunity to job shadow UN employees during the Commemoration of the Girl Child in February. Photo credited to UNDP.

For the first time in the history of the UNDP, the UN Agency finally honored the Girl Child. UNDP pays special attention to the empowerment of and investment in the girl child: “It is critical for economic growth, the achievement of all MDG’s, including the eradication of extreme poverty, as well as the meaningful participation of girls in decisions that affect them.” UNDP supports the girl child in realizing her full potential through education, protection and inclusion. Empowering the girl child is key in breaking the cycle of discrimination and violence and in promoting and protecting the full and effective enjoyment of her human rights.

The commemoration of the girl child has an immediate relevance for Swaziland: “According to Swaziland Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2007: about 1 in 3 Swazi girls have experienced some form of abuse prior to age 18 years.” These indicators are documented in the leaflet circulated at the launch hosted by the Deputy Prime Ministers Office in partnership with Donors and the Gender Consortium on October 11, 2012. This serves as proof that the time is now opportune for Swaziland to empower the girl child by raising awareness and advocacy, evidence-based programming, generate new evidence and knowledge, and discuss recommendations for the girl child to reach her full potential.