Women and girls around the world still face major barriers in realizing their rights, in areas as diverse and far reaching as political participation, education, health, and economic prosperity. We still have miles to go.
Fast forward to one hundred and two years since the International Women’s Day was first celebrated – gender equality still remains unrealized. The gender gap won’t close if we don’t engage all actors.
This International Women’s day, our theme centered on efforts to close the gender gap. Dubbed “Boys For Girls”, we headed to Kisubi High School to engage student leaders, teachers, our cultural icons and experts on why gender equality is good for everyone– men and boys included.
The schools which were present were; Hana Mixed school, Bethany High Shool, Atlas High School, Mariam High School, Mbogo High School, Lowell Girls High School, Katale Modern Secondary School and the hosts, Kisubi High School.
Kicking off with focus group discussions, our peer educators and partners were distributed to different classrooms covering different topics for example fighting gender based violence using technology conducted by KiBO Foundation, new age prostitution conducted by Africa Elevation, management of HIV young adolescents by Uganda Network for Young People Living with HIV, drug and substance abuse by Special Minds Initiative and the role of teachers in shaping young people’s careers led by Dr. Naboth Cole.
During the focus group discussions, students (who were from the different schools present), got an opportunity to ask all issues they were facing regarding their reproductive health and got tips and accurate information needed for them to access comprehensive sexuality education.
In the afternoon, panel discussions between student leaders, teachers, partners and cultural icons were conducted moderated by renowned HIV/AIDS activist, Pablo Kimuli with a focus on the role of Student Leaders in ensuring girls and boys access comprehensive sexuality education in schools and also Inspiring Student leaders to be champions of Gender Equality within the school and community as a whole.
Dr. Maggie Kigozi who gave a keynote address, gave tips to students encouraging them from not engaging in cross-generational relationships. “Whatever you are doing involve your children. Teach them how to work. Girls, we don’t depend on rich men; you don’t need to depend on old rich men for anything, there are young men out there and learn how to work.” Ms Kigozi advised the students at the event.
During the breaks of the panel discussions, we had performances from Geosteady, keko, Renah Nalumansi and the headliner Vanessa Mdee from Tanzania.
Women’s Day was a success thanks to our partners MTV Staying Alive, Rutgers Uganda, Segal Family Foundation, Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG), Reproductive Health Uganda, NBS Television (who broadcast the event live), Events Warehouse and staff of kisubi High School.
Incase you missed the moments, check out the hashtag #BoysForGirls and get to see what went down online.