This year’s International Day of the Girl Child had a focus on exposing the girl child to the digitization turn the world has taken, and how she can explore and learn from and through various online portals and activities.
The IDGC 2021 theme, “Digital generation, our generation”, raised conversation on the need for the girl child to become aware of e – learning approaches and media available for her learning and earning, should anything hit the world unprepared again, as the COVID – 19 pandemic did.
According to the Generation Equality Forum which came off in June and July, 2020, many girls around the world, especially in rural areas have less or no access to the internet and internet devices, compared to boys.
This, the forum says has been compounded by the pandemic, making more girls perform poorly in school and some dropping out completely.
WUZDA Ghana has consistently since 2019 implemented various activities every October on the IDGC, to advocate for better protection of the rights of the girl child.
The 2021 theme provided opportunity for WUZDA Ghana and partners to assess the understanding and access by students on our A24Y Project, to the various enhanced learning initiatives instituted by government to allow for girls to learn outside the classroom.
Our findings showed that, of the 180 girls on the “Optimized A24Y – Policy Prioritization as a Factor” project, less than 6% have access to the internet, while less than 3% own internet devices to support their access to the e – learning platforms.
The IDGC Week – long Activities
The week – long activities on the IDGC this year started with a radio tour, where the girls were panelists in radio stations to discuss and educate the public on the need for the IDGC and for more attention to be paid to the growth of the girl child.
The girls also took turns to discuss issues of child marriage and its effects on the growth of the girl, as well as the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy.
On the main event day of the IDGC; 11th October, IT Specialist, Mr. Hamidu Fuseini took time to educate the girls on the various platforms that are available on radio, TV and online for e – learning, as well as how to access them.
He also showed them some of the devices needed for one to access these platforms.
According to Hamidu Fuseini, “no girl can survive in the world of today, without any knowledge of IT, because the world itself has been digitized, even if it is being done arguably at a slow pace”.
He therefore encouraged the girls to read more, research more and ask more questions relating to the online materials that they come across, as a sure way to enhancing their knowledge on IT, for the world cannot wait for them.
The day also saw girls acquire training on the weaving of the maasai bead bracelet which was done virtually, as a video was shown to them from a shop where production takes place, by a University student.
Representative for the Department of Social Welfare, Tamale, Mr. Abdul – Malik Awal explained to the girls about the mandate of the department and how it intervenes in providing welfare for the girl child.
WUZDA Ghana’s partner in the area of child development, Chance for Children, also had its representative, Mr. Thomas Jayen remind the girls about the need to help their colleagues on the streets who do not have the privileges to go to school as they do.
He called on the girls present to direct children they find on the streets of Tamale to the offices of Chance for Children for help on how they can also access opportunities and grow as normal children.
The final and perhaps most important part of the celebration of the day, was the launch of the WUZDA – Mundo Digi – Mentorship platform, which is expected to provide the girls the opportunity to discuss matters of personal to them, on adolescence and growth.
This platform will be facilitated by a young lady in a university, Rachel Antwi, who is a mentor and teacher, with years of experience on topics and areas of importance to the growth of the girl.
Discussions on the platform will be coordinated by WUZDA Ghana’s Gender Desk Officer, Kaawie Felicia.
There has come the need for the girls, especially those in the Second Cycle level, to be guided on the kind of information they need to consume and those that require trashing.
This guidance and monitoring of information flow to the girls, is in line with the objective of the project, which connotes the title, “After 24 Years” before marriage.
The 2021 International Day of the Girl Child activities implementation, was funded by WUZDA Ghana’s partner in girl child development, Mundo Cooperante.