Girls central to Beijing+20 campaign in Mali
The public launch not only aimed to raise awareness about the accomplishments of the country in terms of gender parity, but also emphasized leadership and promoted education through an intergenerational dialogue focused on one of the critical areas of concern, the girl child.
Hosting the panel on girl’s experiences was Mariam Drame Diallo, a former Youth Parliamentarian and a civil society leader, Naba Traore, a famous singer, among others. Youth participants highlighted several barriers including challenges they face in being recognized as leaders in their own right because of their age, as well as accessing opportunities for meaningful employment.
In response to these concerns, former Minister and the only woman to serve as Governor in Mali, Sy Kadiatou Sow, underlined strategies to challenge the status quo, and urged young women to be comfortable to advise their counterparts about gender-specific issues such as income disparity between women and men and working hours for women who are raising families. Women participants at the event highlighted the power of a good education, and support from strong male family members, as integral to their road to success.
Ms. Seid of FAO emphasized to the young women that, “you have a social responsibility with regards to humanity, to Mali, to Africa. As young women, you may be faced with more challenges than young men, but you must embrace those challenges. Believe in yourself.”
The event closed with as prizes of excellence were presented to the nine highest-ranking school girls in the region for their extraordinary achievements in academia.