Liberia: Campaign to Save, Educate a Girl Child Launched in Bong
Gbarnga, Bong County – Girls will do better than boys if they are given the chance, said Zenabia Tiangeh Taylor, executive director, Impact Girls Liberia, a non-governmental organization, at the launch last week of the ‘Send Your Girl Child to School’ campaign in Gbarnga, Bong County.
“It has been found in many cases that some parents discriminate and restrict the mental growth of the girl child,” Tiangay said. ‘Send your girl child to school,’ a nationwide scheme launched by the Impact Girls Liberia, seeks to address gender imbalance and discrimination against the girl child.
According to Tiangay, a YALI Cohort and a Naymote Young Women Empowerment Political Leadership fellow, a rally by the organization was held in different areas in and out of Gbarnga to launch the campaign.
The “Send Your Girl Child to School” campaign, according to Tiangay, is also aimed at designing aged-specific investments, interventions, policies and programs that will empower adolescent girls and enable them forge a new future for themselves and the world.
The initiative, she added, aims to motivate and empower young girls to reach their career goals and inspire the next generation of women leaders in Liberia.
She said the initiative will include but not limited to investment in education, skills training, access to information technology, menstrual hygiene management, HIV education and reproductive health services. More still, the investments design will also aim at combating attitudes and behaviors like child marriage, female genital mutilation and cutting, and sexual violence – that endanger girls and impede their empowerment and progress.
Tiangay said: “It is disheartening to see that aged-old discrimination against women and girls continues to exist in our country. And besides most of our girls are not in school, and it’s for this reason we have launched this flagship campaign aimed at encouraging our parents to send their girls children to school and save their lives.”
Continuing, she added: “The organization will mentor girls and help them live a healthier life and make them productive citizens, promote community responsibility, and find alternatives to drugs, alcohol, and early sexual activity.”
Tiangay said investment in girls’ health, safety and education pays development dividends. “Investing in adolescent girls is one of the smartest ways to secure a better and more sustainable future.”
“We use the launch of the campaign in commemoration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday, through the YALI Service Voluntarily Event, from the United States Embassy, which we normally do as fellow of YALI. Our goal for this initiative is to have more girls in next school year.”
“Through this campaign, we want to ensure that girls understand their potential and are given real insight into a range of careers. We hope to enhance their self-esteem and guide them in reaching their career goals because gender equality means that they should enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of Liberia,” says Tiangay.
She further stated that the Free and Compulsory Primary Education Policy in Liberia needs to be implemented to the fullest to afford children, especially girls, benefit.
“After numerous surveys we did in Bong, we got to know that the number of girls selling in the streets, and market places are more than the ones in school. So we thought that we need to raise the alarm on the Free and Compulsory Primary Education policy, because we want our people to take advantage of it. We want them to know about it the more,” she stated.