10th October, 2020 – AfriYAN Ghana is joining the global, African and Ghanaian community to mark this year’s International Day of the Girl on 11th October 2020, with the theme, “My voice, Our equal future”. This year, we celebrate the voices of adolescent girls, especially our peer mentors, who are speaking out and working to end sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) against other girls in their communities. They are breaking barriers by speaking on salient issues our communities are silent about. They are connecting adolescent girls who have been sexually abused to the services they need
The International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated on October 11 each year, was established by the United Nations to raise awareness of girls’ rights and support the creation of more opportunities for girls. In this 21st century, some girls are still being denied access to education, legal rights especially after they survive SGBV, nutrition, decision making among others. Girls are still being forced into marriages for many reasons. The celebration and commemoration of this day is an important opportunity to raise awareness of these issues, especially in Ghana. In Ghana, SGBV is a major challenge posing significant risks to girls and women, with disturbing effects on their health and wellbeing. Despite interventions over the years that have contributed some progress in enabling safe environments for women and girls, and towards improving the national SGBV response, Ghana’s culture is still one that is silent on openly discussing sex-related issues in the family, school, church and community level and hence the prevailing silence in reporting rape, abuse and harassment issues by victims.
In view of this, AfriYAN Ghana has embarked on the United Against SGBV project, funded by AmplifyChange, to raise awareness on SGBV (its prevention and response), empower adolescents and young women with information and resources to champion the fight against SGBV, and link survivors to counselling, mental health, justice, and reproductive health services. The project is also building a movement of advocates, actors and change makers who are survivors, youth advocates and experts working within the development sector to contribute to efforts to end SGBV in Ghana.
As part of marking the day, AfriYAN is calling out for short songs and spoken word which should end with this year’s theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”. The video recording should not be more than a minute. The deadline for the video submission is 10th October 2020. The videos of the short songs and spoken words would be shared on all AfriYAN’s social media platforms and the best would be awarded some beautiful souvenirs.
AfriYAN Ghana calls on young people especially girls, parents, teachers, media persons and all stakeholders to stand with girls in the #UnitedAgainstSGBV movement by speaking out when you see something; and also to host mini #UnitedAgainstSGBV sessions in your church, community, schools and media platforms. Call us and we will provide technical support and link you up to one of our trained peer mentors. While creating safe spaces for girls, let us augment their leadership, actions and achievements.
AfriYAN Ghana is a network of youth-led organisations working on various population and development issues across the country.