Girls' voices from Guinea join the Beijing+20 call

Date: Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Organizers and participants at the event Photo courtesy of Ansoumane Diessira Condé of Diessira Convergence
UN Women and the Consortium of NGOs, a group of NGOs brought together to promote the global Beijing+20 campaign in Guinea continue to lead the way in defending girls rights and commemorating the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. In a country facing the Ebola crisis wherein women and girls are often on the frontlines of caring for the patients, a special advocacy event titled Voices of Girls: Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Women was held to focus on the importance of girls and their futures on the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October.

Bringing together children from disadvantaged social groups including the homeless and disabled with the collaboration of UNICEF, discussions ranged from popular perceptions of masculinities and gender, and equal opportunities for boys and girls to education. Amadou Camara, a 9 year-old boy described some of the challenges girls face in pursuing an education, which boys enjoy as a basic right, but is not necessarily treated as such for girls. “In my class, girls always come late, and when we ask them why, they reply that they were doing house chores. Girls should be in school to study. I don’t do house chores,” Camara said.

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Hadja Saran Dioubaté, Representing the Ministry of Social Affairs for Women's Development and Childhood Protection speaks out for girls rights Photo courtesy of Ansoumane Diessira Condé of Diessira Convergence
The Voices of Girls: Today’s Girls, Tomorrow’s Women event was organized as part of UN Women’s call for mobilization to promote the Beijing+20 campaign, which urges governments globally of the commitments made in 1995 when the historic Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action was agreed to by 189 UN Member States, highlighting the need for accelerated action in all 12 critical areas of concern, including the economy and education.

Participating in the high-profile event was Hadja Idrissa Bah, Guinean Youth parliamentarian, who presented her own perspectives on girls’ rights saying, “children have rights and obligations; we, as children, must show respect to our parents and parents must protect and educate us. A well-educated girl represents the country’s future.” Aïssatou Yansané, a UNESCO Guinean Youth Ambassador also attended the event in support of the campaign, and highlighted the importance of equal opportunities for boys and girls to education. “My fight is for all children without discrimination to have equal opportunities to attend school,” she said.