Empowered Girls = Brighter Future!
Courtesy of AHF

Empowered Girls = Brighter Future!

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By Julie Pascault (Content Courtesy of AHF)

There’s no better time than on International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) to honor girls by working to keep them healthy and help them succeed – and even amid COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, AHF country teams held virtual and socially-distanced live events where possible to support girls from around the globe!

AHF Nigeria staff and Girls Act members meet with parliament on pressing issues affecting young women and girls.
AHF Nigeria staff and Girls Act members meet with parliament on pressing issues affecting young women and girls | Courtesy of AHF

AHF Nigeria kicked things off early for IDGC 2020 by organizing an advocacy session with parliament that resulted in a partnership with the House of Representatives Committee on HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria Control.

Three Girls Act members from the Abuja chapter presented officials with high priority issues affecting young women and girls, including adequate water and restroom facilities in schools, free sanitary pads, and the need for legislation to lower the age of consent to provide more girls with increased access to sexual and reproductive health services.

Girls Act peer leader Farida Omenge reiterates to members of parliament the tie between access to reusable sanitary pads and keeping girls in school
Girls Act peer leader Farida Omenge reiterates to members of parliament the tie between access to reusable sanitary pads and keeping girls in school | Courtesy of AHF

Elsewhere in Africa, girl leaders from a school in Malawi attended discussions on female empowerment and staying safe within their communities – the Girls Act team also created an impactful video that was shared throughout the country. Young women and girls in Sierra Leone took to the airwaves and relayed important messages as panelists and studio guests on the country’s flagship TV and radio programs – and in Uganda, a virtual session on gender-based violence against attracted 67 participants across five districts.

Girls Act Africa and 2020 Malawi_Link to (https://youtu.be/d8shSxlFi2s)
Girls Act 2020 - Malawi | Courtesy of AHF

In Asia, multifaceted events organized with a partner in China consisted of highlighting HIV-positive girls and their fight to end stigma and discrimination, a lecture on HIV prevention for girls from a local school, and an event where medical staff presented girls with information on HIV.

A local ART center was the site for an IDGC event with a partner in Nepal where girls received information on adherence to treatment and school supplies. And in Cambodia, girls attended workshops to create messages for key stakeholders on neglected issues related to health, education, stigma, and discrimination.

Girls Act Asia
Courtesy of AHF

Exciting events were also held across Latin America and the Caribbean! In Haiti, more than 120 girls attended a lively debate moderated by an expert panel which was followed by a music concert and the creation of inspiring murals.

Workshops on empowerment, girls’ rights, and succeeding in the future were held in Argentina and the Dominican Republic, and teams with partners in Brazil and Jamaica highlighted strong girl ambassadors with touching advocacy messages via videos. And girls in Guatemala took to the virtual realm where they learned about their rights on sexual and reproductive health, including preventing HIV, STIs, and unplanned pregnancies – as well as, staying safe from sexual violence and human trafficking.

Girls Act 2020 - Brasil _Link to https://youtu.be/6KyNFyPhTxo
Girls Act 2020 - Brasil | Courtesy of AHF
Girls Act Guatemala
Courtesy of AHF
Girls Act Argentina and Jamaica (Eve for Life)_link to https://youtu.be/HeNQe4YvsFE
Girls Act 2020 - Jamaica (Eve for Life) | Courtesy of AHF
Girls Act Haiti
Courtesy of AHF
Girls Act Dominican Republic
Courtesy of AHF