By Maimuna Sey-Jawo

Child Fund The Gambia in collaboration with its three local partners on Thursday observed the International Day of the girl.
The theme this year is ‘with her: A Skilled Girl Force’.
According to officials, the ceremony at Brikama marked the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to the most pressing needs of girls to attain skills for employability.
Speaking at the ceremony, the country Director of Child Fund, The Gambia Musukuta Komma, said the International Day of the Girl is an opportunity to accelerate efforts towards the sustainable development goals and to ‘increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment in decent jobs and entrepreneurship.

“Today marks another important day in the annals of Child Fund The Gambia and by extension Child Fund International, under the theme, with her; A Skilled Girl Force,” she stated.
She added that the international day of the girl is held each year on October 11 to raise awareness of the unique challenges girls face and promote their empowerment.
“This day allows for sober and honest reflections by all stakeholders on the plight of our girls, to celebrate their successes as well as renew efforts to address the many bottlenecks that impede their survival, growth and development,” she said.

The Deputy Governor of West Coast Region Siaka Jatta said the day aimed at highlighting and addressing the need and challenges girls face, while promoting their empowerment fulfillment of their human rights.
He said the forum of this nature avails us the opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of empowering the women and girls especially the adolescents for the attainment of the sustainable development goal and vision 2030.

Njundu Drammeh, Coordinator of Child Protection Alliance (CPA), emphasised the need for a ministry of children in The Gambia, saying such a ministry is needed for the implementation of the international conventions and treaties.
He said the girl child is often marginalised and discriminated before, after birth, at their adulthood, at old age even when they die.

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