First Lady and Education and Sports Minister Janet Kataaha Museveni will be the guest of honour at the annual Girl Child Awards to be held today.
The annual Girl Child Awards are an innovation by the UGWomen and Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The awards are part of the celebration of the International Girl Child Day.
The Girl Child Awards are an initiative to celebrate individuals, institutions and brands whose work is helping to empower the girl child for a brighter tomorrow.
Launched in 2012 by the United Nations general assembly, amongst the issues focused on by the International Day of the Girl Child are education, equality, child marriage, access to services regarding puberty and sexual health and addressing issues around gender-based violence.
Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.
The ‘Girl Child’ has long been given priority given that they are usually classed as vulnerable and thus in need of added protection and support. This year’s international day of the girl-child runs under the theme, “Girls flourish… because of you!”
Every country has laws or has signed up to international conventions relating to protection of children. International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity.
With the introduction of the awards, its main emphasis was to identify, recognize and celebrate families, communities, civil society, government institutions, co-operations and individuals that have not only transformed yesterday’s girl child into today’s woman of subsistence but also those who have who are tirelessly working towards ensuring that today’s girl child becomes tomorrow’s woman of influence.
36 inspirational women have been nominated in various categories that include;
- Woman of transformational ideas (Innovation)
- The networked woman of profit (business/entrepreneurship)
- The woman with an imaginative pen (Literature)
- The leading career woman (Finance)
- Woman shaping society thinking (Media)
- Woman who uplift our spirits (Entertainment)
- International glory of our country (sports)
- Organisation with unparalleled impact (Civil society)
- Most compliant gender budgeting entity
- Standing in the gap – men (children)
- Enough to spend on the girl child (People/ companies in support)
The panel of judges will include Lydia Namuli from FIDA, Elliot Orizaarwa, executive director Women and Girl Child Development Association, Moses Ntege, founder Joy for Children, Mando Kyateka, commissioner youth and children affairs in the ministry of labour, Elizabeth Mushaba, a public health specialist.
Representatives from UNWOMEN commended the initiative saying that it will increase the opportunities for the promotion of gender equality and women empowerment across generations
“I see this initiative growing into a much bigger program that recognizes the concerted effort by communities, parents and institutions to promote to promote the gender equality and equality agenda, if properly managed, it can be replicated into other countries all over the world.” Asserted a UNWOMEN representative during an interview.
Catherine Opondo on behalf of the Girls Flourish and concern for the girl child, expressed her gratitude to the minister of gender Hon. Janat Mukwaya for believing in the Girls flourish cause and for taking the decision to collaborate in ensuring in ensuring that the girl child awards generate the intended impact.
“Witnessing first hand their relentlessness in seeking the best methodology of identifying outstanding Ugandans for awarding, in itself is proof of the incredible zeal that the girl child program ignites.” Lydia said in an interview.