‘Girls are faced with crucial conditions’


- Director of YACAN

October 7, 2015 By Memunatu Bangura

Ahead of global celebrations to mark the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October, Director of Youth and Child Advocacy Network (YACAN), Hassan Faud Kanu, has said that girls are continually faced with crucial conditions in the nation.

He opined that girls in Sierra Leone continue to face challenges in health and education, adding that teachers are key partners to remedy the situation.

This year’s theme for the International Day of the Girl Child, he said, is ‘The power of Adolescent Girls: Vision for 2030’, and that it is considered by YACAN as a wakeup call for policy makers in the country.

He said YACAN would partner with Plan International-Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU), the Conference of Principles for Secondary Schools, National Council of Head Teachers, and Educational for All Coalition-Sierra Leone to observe the day.

The day promotes girls’ rights and highlights gender inequalities between girls and boys. It is observed by the United Nations and countries around the world annually on 11 October, and it gives people and organisations the opportunity to raise public awareness on the different types of discrimination and abuse that girls around the world suffer from.

Community and political leaders are expected to talk about the importance of girls’ right to equal education and their fundamental freedoms. Various events will be held to showcase the work people are doing to empower girls through active support and engagement with parents, families and communities.

“Girls in the adolescent age are faced with sexual and gender based violence (SGBV), inadequate sexual reproductive health (SRH), early marriage and teenage pregnancy,” said the YACAN director, adding that they would be organising a National Teachers Excellence Award on Tuesday, 13 October to recognise teachers who have promoted girls development and education and to identify teachers who are role models in education.

He further noted that even with the unfortunate outbreak of Ebola some teachers and associations supported children to access education.

“We consider these teachers as heroes and heroines of the Ebola and their efforts should not go unrecognised by some of us who consider education as a tool to positive change for girls,” he said.