IDG 2022: Young Girls Amplify Voices through Driven Initiatives of Plan International

In line with month-long activities to celebrate the girl child, Plan International Cameroon organized on October 21, 2022, in Yaounde, a boulevard of girls’ rights.

As Cameroon joined on October 11, 2022, the rest of the world to celebrate the10th anniversaryof theInternational Day of the Girl (IDG), Plan International with the support of the government has organized nationwide series of activities to magnify the girls but mostly to echo the need to respect their fundamental rights.

On Friday, 21st October 2022, Plan International Cameroon and some key public institutions like the ministry of women’s empowerment and the family and the ministry of social affairs launched at the esplanade of the Yaounde city council, a boulevard of girls’ rights.

The one-day forum was an open opportunity for young girls and boys convened to express their needs in terms of education, and health and in a meantime to denounce different stereotypes that are impeding many young girls to have access to education.

Three-panel discussions were launched under the themes: The Right to the education of the girl child, the Right to sexual and reproductive health, and the Right to protection.

As underscored by the Representative of the Minister of women’s empowerment and the family, there is a need to reiterate over and over the crucial role of the girl child in society as the mother of a family tomorrow.

Mrs. Koukreo Wespa Maipa, Inspector number 2 in the ministry of women’s empowerment, and the family made the call while officially opening the boulevard of girls’ rights.

She said the theme of this year’s celebration under the theme: “Our Time is Now, Our Rights, Our Future” is not only a call to action but a reminder of the various legal instruments adopted by Cameroon to protect and promote the rights of children notably the girl child.

Added to her statements, she cited the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals adopted in 2015 by world leaders, as a guide in the effective implementation of children’s rights.

She said: “It is only by guaranteeing the rights of women and girls in all segments that we will be able to achieve justice, inclusion, and economies that function for the wellbeing of all in our environment today and future generations…”

Country Director of Plan International Cameroon, Johnson Bien-Aimé said this initiative cannot be effective if the government does not give its full support and he praised concerted efforts and engagements that have been existing between Plan International and the government of Cameroon.

According to Mr. Johnson Bien-Aimé, the boulevard is a space for exchange and to help amplify the voices of young people notably the girls who face a good number of challenges in society.

The international day of the Girl is not just one day. It is a momentum that needs to continue throughout the year. So, we want once more to use these youth associations present here in a national forum in which they will be able to have activities over the year and later on become our partners and even part of our communities to help us in our different campaigns…”

In Cameroon just like in other countries, girls continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, and the protections needed for a life without violence. Girls with disabilities face additional barriers to accessing support and services. 

The event was equally to highlight the global campaign dubbed: “Girls Get Equal” which according to Plan International focuses on demanding power, freedom, and representation for girls and young women. It is about ensuring every girl and young woman has power over her own life and can shape the world around her. A world free from discrimination, harassment, and violence.

Elise Kenimbeni

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