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US supports the United Nations International Day of the Girl Child
October 11, 2012
The US Public
Affairs Section is supporting the United Nations first International
Day of the Girl on October 11, 2012 at Glen View 1 High School with
a program that incorporates theater, dance, and motivational speeches
to educate youth about the status of girls and the positive results
that can be obtained by investing in them. Blossoms Children Community
and the New York-based 10x10 organization, with the support of the
U.S. Embassy, are collaborating to recognize the importance of this
States is proud to be celebrating this first-ever International
Day of the Girl Child in Zimbabwe," said Sharon Hudson-Dean,
Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy. "Whether
you are a girl or a boy, a man or a woman, this day gives us all
an unique opportunity to consider how we can work together to ensure
that all young people - both girls and boys - have equal opportunities
to contribute to their societies, and build brighter futures for
themselves, their families, and their countries."
The day was
established to recognize girls' rights and galvanize global
commitments to end gender stereotypes, discrimination, violence
and economic disparities that disproportionately affect girls. Evidence
shows that countries will only reach their greatest potential economically,
socially, and politically when girls participate equally in all
aspects of society - in education and health care; when they
are protected from discrimination and other harmful activities such
as early marriage and gender-based violence.
excited to celebrate this day at my alma mater, where I was the
head girl, and where the theme of the event "Educate the Girl:
Change the world" will be very meaningful," said Pamhidzayi
Berejena Mhongera, founding member of Blossoms Children Community
and Microfinance Projects Manager with MicroKing Finance (Pvt) Ltd.
"The Zimbabwean girl child faces many challenges in accessing
quality education, finding employment, avoiding gender-based violence
and we must start to make our girls - and boys - aware
at an early age about the importance of these themes."
vision of girl empowerment started in 1991, when as the Head Girl
of Glen-View 1 High School she established the Young Ladies Club,
which is still functional. This platform is for girls to express
themselves on matters that affect their education and life in general
and for them to get mentors and counselors who will support them
for successful education and life transitions.
Mhongera is undergoing a PhD candidate in Social Work with the University
of Pretoria, and recently completed a research fellowship in July
2012 with the Brookings Institution, a private nonprofit organization
devoted to independent research and innovative policy solutions
based in Washington DC. Her research focused on advancing the right
to quality education for adolescent orphan girls through transitional
services delivery at community systems level.
During her attachment
with the Brookings Institution, Pamhidzayi visited 10X10 and joined
forces with the organization to raise the value of girls in Zimbabwean
homes, communities, and throughout the nation. On October 11, 2012,
10x10 will collaborate with individuals and partners around the
globe to hold events designed to raise awareness in local communities
about the importance of educating girls.
10x10 is a global
action campaign that began through a collaboration of the award-winning
journalists and storytellers at the Documentary Group and Paul G.
Allen's Vulcan Productions. Together, they recognized the power
of girls' education to alleviate global poverty - and committed
their storytelling abilities to raising awareness of the issue.
The organization brings together dedicated journalists, writers,
business people, policy leaders, students, teachers, elected leaders,
humanitarians, activists, philanthropists, musicians, celebrities
and people like Ms. Mhongera - who believe that investing in girls
is vital for global development
Data shows that
when girls are educated, countries are more prosperous. Providing
girls with an extra year of schooling beyond the average increases
their wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school
increases wages by 15 to 25 percent. Girls who are in school are
more likely to delay marriage and childbirth, have lower rates of
HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and enjoy greater equality at home and
in society, and their future children are more likely to survive
and be educated themselves. This Day of the Girl gives us all an
opportunity to pause to discuss these important issues - and some
of the ways we can work together to overcome the barriers that might
keep girls and boys from achieving their greatest potential.
the U.S. has helped 84 million girls to go to school around the
world. We are working to strengthen students' reading skills,
to train teachers to be more gender-sensitive in the classroom,
to develop textbooks that demonstrate gender equality and to provide
training that will equip them for 21st Century jobs.
Community was established in Mufakose, Glen View, Kuwadzana and
Highfield to support the education of girls through interagency
collaboration advocacy, case management, comprehensive, counseling
and mentoring programs.
performance will be by Sista-Sista, a group of female artists from
different arts backgrounds who come together to perform professionally
to address women's and young girls' issues.
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