During a Children’s Parliament organized by SOS Children’s Villages Kakiri location in commemoration of International Women’s Day 2022, participants re-echoed the need to avail equal opportunities for the girl child.
The session, which was attended by 50 girls and 57 boys from the location, was organized under the topic: “realization of the potential of the girl child in the development of our country.”
One of the female participants, Lillian Babirye, advocated for equal opportunities on property inheritance for both boys and girls. She gave examples of some of Uganda’s wealthy figures who entrusted their wealth with their daughters for better management and business continuity. “Ugandan fathers need to emulate what the late Mulwana did to break the African traditional beliefs against women, if we are to develop.” She also questioned the rationale of a father who chooses a son as an heir, only for the material wealth to be sold off resulting into family breakups. Lillian advocated for mindset change of all 21st century parents.
Another participant, Catherine Nakiberu, basing on the example of the former Speaker of Parliament in Uganda, Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, encouraged the girl child to have self-esteem and confidence so as to take up positions as future leaders. She also emphasized that to be a future leader, the journey begins today and called upon her female counterparts to be active in school leadership positions.
Nicholas Kihembo, a male participant, acknowledged women’s contribution to the development of the nation, noting that there were many single mothers fending for their families, and working hard to ensure that their children attained a decent education. He appreciated women for being at the forefront of fighting illiteracy by educating the nation.
Sharon Ninsiima encouraged her fellow girls to do away with the old mindset of leaving some roles to boys. “The world is changing and women are performing better in some roles that were previously male-dominated,” she noted. She encouraged girls to take more interest in roles like braved to be drivers, pilots, soldiers and carpenters.
SOS Children’s Villages Kakiri location created the Children’s Parliament to provide a platform for children to echo their voices and raise the issues that affect them directly based on their gender.
The Children’s Parliament does not only create room for children’s participation in the program but also helps in building children’s self-confidence, communication skills, assertiveness and public speaking.
Other issues that were discussed at this engagement include challenges and opportunities for the girl child, and recommendations to government.