Tuesday, 16 October 2012 08:15

ZIMBABWE: Nation Celebrates International Day of the Girl Child


12 October 2012 - Zimbabwe yesterday joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child.

The commemorations were held in Harare and Chitungwiza. The major highlights included performances by Zimbabwe's top artists and the reciting of poems by school girls. In Harare, commemorations were held at a hotel and at Glen View High 1 School. At the hotel, poet Albert Nyathi recited a poem dedicated to his daughter titled "My Daughter".

Pauline Gundidza performed a theme song "Because I am a Girl" composed by Oliver Mtukudzi and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

School girls recited poems and sang songs highlighting challenges they face.

Education, Sport, Arts and Culture secretary Mrs Constance Chigwamba reiterated Government's commitment to assisting the disadvantaged through programmes such as the Basic Education Assistant Module and Campaign for Female Education.

Plan Zimbabwe launched a five-year campaign under the theme "Because I am a girl" at the event. The NGO's director, Mrs Hazel Nyathi, said the organisation supported children to realise their full potential through education, protection and inclusion. "Poverty is gender based and cannot be alleviated without the participation of the girl child, hence this launch stresses the commitment to promote gender equality," said Mrs Nyathi.

At Glen View High 1 School, the commemorations were held under the theme "Educate the girl; Change the world".

Blossoms Children executive director Ms Pamhidzai Berejena Mhongera said it was important to invest in girls because they had the power and strength to shape and change the world. She said girls who managed to be in schools were more likely to delay marriage and childbirth.

Such girls also had lower rates of HIV and Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.

In Chitungwiza, the Girl Child Network commemorated the day under the theme "Ending child marriages".

GCN director Ms Edinah Masanga said over 4 000 cases of sexual abuse were reported to the organisation between April 2011 and April 2012. "Other cases were 506 of physical abuse and 806 of mental abuse, 28 were of neglect and one of social abuse," she said.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wife, Elizabeth, called for the prevention of child marriages.

"When girls are able to stay in school and avoid being married early, they can build a foundation for a better life for themselves and their families and participate in the progress of their nations," she said.

Source: The Herald

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