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International Day of the Girl Child 2021: ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation’

It is my pleasure to join you this morning to mark the International Day of the Girl Child. I have the honor to speak to you today on behalf of the UN system in Uganda.

The message behind observing the 11th of October as the International Day of the Girl Child is simple: girls are disadvantaged and are not enjoying their fundamental human rights.

Gender and age discrimination are at the heart of the violation of girls’ rights. The world needs profound social transformation in support of girls’ rights.

Uganda made remarkable progress towards the empowerment of girls. The senior women leadership we see in Uganda today is a testimony of many years of political commitment to girls’ education and gender equity.

With you, Honorable Janet Kataaha Museveni, the First Lady of Uganda, at the helm of the Ministry of Education and Sports, Honorable Ms. Ongom, as Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Honorable Ms. Mateke as State Minister for Youth and Children Affairs, and with women in the positions of the Vice President and Prime Minister, Uganda today is well-positioned to address the remaining challenges holding young girls back.

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This year the world is marking the International Day of the Girl under the theme, ‘Digital Generation, Our Generation.’ The world must ensure that girls, especially in developing countries, can reap the benefits of the technological revolution that has reshaped the life of every human being. When COVID-19 necessitated unprecedented public health measures such as frequent lockdowns and closure of schools and businesses, societies with advanced digital technology were able to ensure the continuity of learning and economic productivity.

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We must ensure that girls in developing countries are part of the digital transformation. Otherwise, they will continue to be left behind as a result of the digital divide. At the moment, millions of illiterate girls who never enrolled in schools or dropped out of schools due to poverty, early marriage, and pregnancy have little hope to be part of the digital generation. So, let us join our efforts to educate every girl and protect each one of them from the evils of teenage pregnancy and early marriage.

The UN System in Uganda wishes to congratulate the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development for making the International Day of the Girl Child this year exceptional. Launching the Revised Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Teenage Pregnancy in School Settings and Launching a Multi-Media Campaign targeting parents to protect and promote the wellbeing of children at home during COVID-19 pandemic on the International Day of the Girl make this day unique.

I assure you of the commitment of the entire UN system to support all your genuine efforts to educate and empower every girl child in Uganda. You can count on the UN system and all development partners in Uganda to ensure no girl child is left behind.

I wish all the girls and boys of Uganda a Happy International Day of the Girl.

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