KAMPALA – The Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum (UYAHF) has said investments in the empowerment of adolescent girls are increasingly recognized to be critical in breaking the intergenerational issues affecting girls especially violence.
This revelation was made at a virtual event in Mbale where UYAHF and its partners SheDecides and GirlsNotBrides held a satellite event to the Beijing +25 celebrations 2021 to help usher in 16 days of activism.
The event was under the theme ‘Empowering Girls for a Brighter Future.’
In a statement they released, UYAHF believes that there is a need to invest in their education, sexual and reproductive health access and social protection prevent and reduce harmful cultural practices like child marriage.
“Today, 1.1 billion girls are challenging the status quo. They are redefining girlhood, and they are doing so against the odds. Although Uganda had made significant progress in terms of overall poverty reduction, further educational opportunities for young people and gender equality, there is a long way to go,” it reads.
The statement explains that for such investments to have maximum impact, more evidence and deliberate action is needed to make adolescent girls more visible in policy and planning processes.
“Analysis of existing evidence has revealed alarming proportions of adolescents still living in poverty, deprived of full educational attainment and for girls forced into child marriage and early pregnancies, with sexual and reproductive health indicators revealing high levels of vulnerability.”
At the event, UYAHF also officially announced their new ‘Suubi’ Helpline, an information, support and referral service for anyone in Uganda who needs support with sexual and reproductive health, sexual and gender-based violence, pro-bono legal advice, post-rape care and social-psychological support.
This event was a precursor of the GirlsNotBrides National Girls’ Summit slated to take place today 26th and it will be a platform for girls to boldly speak out against injustices, oppression, discrimination and sexual violence, as well as a platform for learning for partners and stakeholders.
It will also be a call to action to end child marriage, sexual and gender-based violence.
Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) is a youth led health rights and livelihood advocacy action group that was established in November 2011 by a group of Youth leaders and youth activists with passion in addressing human rights, health and livelihood issues of young people. They have a unique programming approach that integrates livelihood issues into health issues to give a holistic package of safety and survival skills, information and opportunities to the young people.