Early October this year, 12 year old Katushabe Ruhanga was found guarding their garden of maize from being destroyed by baboons. The primary one pupil at Nyakabale Primary school in Kabale village in Kaseeta parish Kabwoya sub county Hoima district said she has on several occasions been told by her mother to miss school and attend to the garden. Though her dream is to become a doctor, she undergoes high rate of absenteeism which might kill her dreams.
ON DUTY: Katushabe Ruhanga helping in cooking instead of being in school. Many girl children have dropped out of school in Bunyoro Sub region to attend to domestic work and due to early marriages. Commnity Green radio is partnering with stakeholders to ensure girl children stay in school.
United NationS declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl to highlight on such challenges girls face around the world. It also calls for empowerment and improved rights of the world’s 1.1 billion girls.
While appearing on Community Green Radio’s women’s weekly show, Rosemary Birungi, a mother and counselor for teenage girls in Butebere village in Mparo division in Hoima Municipality said many girls still face challenges like high school dropout, early marriage and unwanted pregnancy because parents do not put much efforts in educating them and even those who try do not follow up their progress in schools.
Ms.Birungi said keeping girls in school longer is an effective intervention to prevent teenage pregnancy in addition to getting access to information about their health and human rights.
Mr.Kiiza Safian, the chairperson for child protection Committee in Uganda’s Women Efforts to Save Orphans (UWESO) in Mparo Division says girls still undergo high rate of absenteeism due to their traditional roles of cooking, collecting firewood among others and it becomes worse to child headed families especially orphans.
Mr. Kiiza calls upon parents to educate girls so that they can be empowered economically, get knowledge and capacity to fight for their rights.
STORY COMPILED BY PRECIOUS NATURINDA