“From peace in the home to peace in the world: Make education safe for all”
2015 marks the 24th year of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign, initiated in 1991. The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence began on the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and ended on the International Human Rights Day on December 10.
16 Day of Activism
As part of the DSW Young Adolescent Project in Kenya, we had Young Adolescent Club led outreaches bringing at least 50 Young Adolescents from six YAP schools (Msumarini, Bodoi, Vipingo, Mtomondoni, Mtwapa, Mtepani and their teachers, parents and Community Action Committee members to have dialogue on issues affecting both boys and girls. During the forum we had at least 150 participants attend the dialogue forum where young adolescents expressed their views on issues affecting.
On the December 7, we supported the big county event at Mtomondoni Primary School which is one of the project schools with high school enrolment of both boys of girls of reproductive age. At least 450 participants attended, key among them being the County Director of Devolution and Planning-Kilifi, Youth officers from Kilifi and other partners. We also had media engagements which saw a lot of articles in the Nation Newspaper and Radio features on issues of Gender Based Violence in the Kilifi County. One common thing that came out was that most young adolescents’ girls are denied opportunity to pursue their education especially after pregnancy and are married off while young to old men in the existing community.
For more information, please have a listen t the broadcast below (which is in Kiswahili) that went out on a local Kenyan radio station as part of the campaign:
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Given the social cultural practices in some of the communities where Young Adolescent Project is, there is need for girls to be empowered. Violence against women and girls affects us all. It destroys lives and weakens the fabric of our society. As a population it takes a heavy toll on our communities and economy.
Investing in Girls: Did you know?
- When an adolescent girl is receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has two fewer children
- A 72-Country analysis found that where the literacy gap between boys and girls exceeds 25 per cent, HIV prevalence exceeds 5 per cent; conversely, HIV prevalence rates falls to 3 per cent in areas where literacy gap between boys and girls is below 5 per cent.
- In selected countries, the mortality rate of children under five is highest among those whose mothers had no education. It is lower if the mother has had some primary schooling; lower still if she has benefited from secondary education.
If you invest in an adolescent Girl, she will contribute to Economic Growth when she becomes a woman
- Every year of schooling increases a girl’s individual power by 10 to 20 per cent, while the return on the secondary education is even higher, in the 15 to 25 per cent range.
- Girl’s education is proven to increase not only wage earners but also productivity for employers, yielding benefits for the community and society.
- Women who have control of their own income tend to have fewer children, and fertility rates have shown to be inversely related to national income growth. Girls and young women delaying marriage and having fewer children means a bigger change of increasing per capita income, higher savings, and more rapid growth.
- When women and girls earn an income, they reinvest 90 per cent of it into their families.
- The impact of investing in adolescent girls is intergenerational. A mother with few years of formal education is considerably more likely to send her children to school, breaking the intergenerational chain of poverty.
There is need for an inclusive, sustainable and effective solutions to end gender-based violence. To do this, men must also raise their voices in equality and together we can make a difference both locally and globally. Let’s count on adolescents’ girls, let’s invest in adolescents girls, and et’s advocate for an adolescent girl.
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Halima Ali is a DSW Young Adolescent Project Coordinator in Kenya