The center for the advancement of women’s initiative (CAWI) on Wednesday 14th celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child at Bilingual Grammar School Molyko, Buea, Southwest Cameroon. The semi-autonomous institution under the award winning Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) with its main goal to empower women and the girl child, under the direction of its director Madam Lucia Nkembi, took the celebrations to Bilingual Grammar School (BGS), Molyko where the CAWI team rallied students of both sexes to educate them on how the girl child ought to be treated.
The day International Day of the Girl Child is celebrated every October 11 of each year. The 2020 edition was celebrated under theme, “My voice our equal Future”. Girls/women, despite their numerous contributions to the advancement of our world face various forms of discrimination, are the most vulnerable, no doubt a day is set aside to celebrate them. The celebration which ought to have taken place on Sunday October 11 was rather pushed forward to Wednesday 14th in order to get to school girls who are most often seen bearing the brunt of discrimination, violence and other forms of degrading treatment.
Back in BGS Molyko, attendees of the event were given lectures on gender based violence, the different forms of gender based violence like early marriages, rape, harmful practices. They were also told to take their studies seriously and avoid pre-marital sex which may turn fatal to their studies if they get pregnant (incase of girls) or contract sexually related diseases such as HIV. Amongst other things discussed, the girls and boys present were educated on choosing a career path, writing down their vision to secure their future. All these in line with the theme for this year’s celebration “My Voice Our Equal Future” are essential guidelines to safeguard the future of the girl child in this imbalanced world.
Miss Jingwa Laura, the women and Gender Coordinator for CAWI says “The theme this year is perfect with the situation we face in Cameroon today. This gives confidence to the girls and tells them they are equal to the boys in every set up. This should empower the girls in choosing careers for themselves undermining the fact that people segregate certain jobs only for men/boys. We want them to think of female leaders or role models they look up to and draw inspiration from them in order to become the best version of themselves #GirlsTakeover.”
Keve Joyce, 13, a form three student at BGS Molyko expressed her joy after receiving the Cawi team and appreciates the fact that they were being lectured on how to behave especially with regards to the recent surge in rape cases in Cameroon. she joins her voice to the many to condemn this heinous act. Hear her “Am very happy to be part of this event. I feel much more different. Nothing will hinder me from achieving my dreams no matter what the world think about the female sex”. Little joyce, thinks that the world will be much better if girls are empowered and given the opportunity to do what their male counterparts does. Just like Joyce, Tiku Floret a 14-year-old form four student has mustered the same courage like her friend Joyce. She is very worried about the surge in rape cases in Cameroon. She however thinks that the situation will be reversed if girls listen to their parents. “Always listen to our parents and avoid night movement and also, dress decently in order not to become victim of rape” Joyce said. All this coupled with the rate at which gender violence and violence against the girl child is increasing in Cameroon, CAWI team joins the rest of the voices to demand equal treatment for all sexes.