By Kudakwashe Vhenge
Newly formed Girl’s Rights Movement has called on government and relevant stakeholders to consult girls when making policies that affect them.
Girl’s Rights Movement was launched in Harare yesterday under the theme “She demands: Creating a girls movement for enhanced visibility and meaningful participation.”
The event was organized by Shamwari Yemwanasikana a community based non-governmental organization that seeks to promote the rights and empowerment of girls.
Girls Rights Movement president, Nyasha Mhonda stressed the need for the government to honor its promises to help the plight of the girl child as well as give a listening ear whenever concerns are raised.
“The voice of the girl child has become ceremonial, in some spaces panongoitwa any movement panongonzi ava vanofanira kutaurao because vanonetsa and they seek attention. Girls have written petitions with the help of civil society organizations, appealing to the government on the need to address their challenges but nothing much has been done about it.
“We are very tired as girls of going to prestigious podiums totaura machallenges atiri kufacer and nothing is being done at the end of the day.”
She also urged societies to advance from retrogressive cultural practices that undermine girl’s rights.
She also lamented that when girls speak out they often suffer name-calling, labelled ‘attention seekers’ which strips off their dignity and confidence.
“When a girl child is trying to speak the society is calling her names. Society irikubvisa confidence muvana vevasikana because of cultural norms and the way we have been brought up.
“We grew up in a society that told us that boys are the ones that are supposed to do ABC whilst girls will ultimately become housewives,” she added.
Guest of Honor at the event Delphine Serumaga who is the United Nations Country Representative expressed gratitude to the zeal and energy that is sprouting out of the present generation of girls.
She made reference to the Beijing platform for action which is a convergence meeting that was held in China in 1995 making a landmark declaration affirming that women and girls are entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of all of their human rights.
“This was a milestone moment for women and girls because it spread on new things by setting up standards of what consist of women and girls rights and l am glad that this has progressed very well as you have kept on the struggle.
Speaking on the same occasion, Shamwari yeMwanasikana director, Ekenia Chifamba emphasized that the girls rights movement is meant to accord space where girls can identify issues affecting their development and advocate for change.
“The movement is meant to amplify the voices of girls and fight for their independent rights to be recognized as a separate demographic group and not to be put under the priorities of women and children,” she said.
She also called on authorities and various partners to avail resources in order to sustain the girl’s rights movement which seeks to eliminate all violations against young girls.