Date: 18 May 2023
The Chozen Generation Sierra Leone (CGSL) second National Debating Championship for Girls commenced with an air of excitement as students from various schools gathered at the Africell American Corner to participate in thought-provoking debates on pressing gender-related topics.
The event witnessed impassioned arguments, powerful public speaking, and the determination of young women to break barriers and advocate for change.
The day kicked off with two schools engaging in intense debates, showcasing their intellect, persuasive skills, and deep understanding of issues affecting women. Topics revolving around bias against women, women’s empowerment, and the challenges faced by girls in society took center stage.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary and International Secondary, the first schools to lock horns, debated whether pregnant girls should be allowed to attend school. Ahmadiyya argued against the motion, expressing concerns about potential consequences, while International Secondary firmly supported the idea of education as a fundamental right for all, emphasizing the need to address the underlying causes of teenage pregnancies. In a tight contest, International Secondary emerged victorious, showcasing their unwavering conviction and ability to sway the judges with their arguments.
The second debate witnessed a clash of perspectives as Saint Joseph’s Convent and Saint Helena Secondary School engaged in a passionate discourse on whether women and girls should be partly blamed for sexual harassment. Saint Helena argued for the motion, highlighting certain behaviors and choices, while Saint Joseph’s Convent vehemently opposed victim-blaming and stressed the importance of holding the perpetrators accountable. In the end, it was Saint Joseph’s Convent that emerged victorious, as their unwavering stance against blaming the victims resonated strongly with the judges.
The final debate of the day brought forth a topic that sparked intense emotions and heated discussions. Malama Comprehensive Secondary School and Government Model Secondary School delved into the topic of whether marriage is more important than a career. Malama advocated for the motion, emphasizing the significance of marital fulfillment, while Government Model Secondary passionately argued for the prioritization of personal growth, independence, and self-fulfillment through a career. In this closely contested debate, Government Model Secondary School emerged as the winners, impressing the judges with their emphasis on empowerment and the ability to challenge traditional gender roles.
These thought-provoking debates shed light on the complexities of gender issues and showcased the intellectual prowess, eloquence, and determination of the young participants.
The National Debating Championship for Girls continues to provide a platform for these exceptional girls to challenge societal norms, raise their voices on crucial matters, and pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable society.
As the championship progresses, the anticipation builds, with the quarterfinals on the horizon. The journey of these remarkable young women continues to captivate and inspire, as they strive to break barriers, shatter stereotypes, and champion change.