This essay was written for International Day of the Girl by a participant of Lubuto's DREAMS program. Her name has been changed to ensure anonymity
Every adolescent girl has the power to transform the world around her, to create a new and better world for herself and others. It’s inherent in her, it is who she is, it is her nature.
It’s time the world empowered us adolescent girls so we can focus our power on changing the world, to do this our rights have to be respected and we should be provided with a platform to not only speak up but develop our potential.
The vision 2030 is for my rights as an adolescent girl to be recognized and promoted. For me this means that I will have control of my future and I will no longer suffer in silence because of vices such as stigma, gender-based violence and other struggles I face on a daily basis just because I was born a girl. Vision 2030 gives me and every girl child hope that our future will not be hindered by early marriage and child prostitution.
Of the 3.5 billion estimated female population, over 1.1 billion are girls. If these girls are given quality education and training before 2030 then by 2030 the number of women in the world market will increase. There will no longer be male dominance in political affairs and for developing countries this means that the rate at which their countries' economies develop will double since labor would have increased.
It’s time the world stopped viewing adolescent girls as liabilities but as tomorrow’s leaders - we are the mothers, entrepreneurs, health workers, home owners and business women. Girls run the world; we are the agents of change. In order for the vision 2030 to be achieved more girls and other people need to come onboard and help put a stop to any practices that bring emotional, sexual, physical or psychological harm to young women and adolescent girls.
Vision 2030 will not be achieved in a blink of an eye, but will require conserted effort from all stakeholders. Measures need to be put in place in order to bring change for girls, measures such as providing quality education for girls at all levels, from primary, secondary and tertiary school, encouraging us that we are not less than boys. Quality education will help us curb the challenges we face such as early marriage, gender based violence and teenage pregnancies.
Today’s adolescent girls are 2030’s women, so if we are empowered or equipped with knowledge and skills to stand up for ourselves then by 2030 the results will be seen and they will be appealing because they do not only affect us but the world as a whole. Now that’s the power of empowering the adolescent girl!