On 11th October, 2020, Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child under the theme “My Voice, Our Equal Future.” This year’s celebration came at a time when the world was grappling with a global pandemic – Covid-19.
While the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic varies from country to country, in Uganda it has deepened poverty and gender inequalities. The lockdown and shutdown of schools has worsened the situation of adolescent girls thus creating more redundant time for the learners, misconception by girls that schools will not re-open soon; lack of parental support at home and accelerated poverty. Parents are largely blamed for engaging children in forced labour where men have taken advantage of them. Despite the increased reporting, most of the cases of sexual abuse on girls remain silent and unreported due to fear and negative attitudes towards the girl child.
To address the above, FAWE Uganda Mastercard Foundation Scholars from Bundibugyo district in partnership with the district Local Government Authorities held two radio talk shows to create awareness against increasing cases of teenage pregnancies and all of forms of sexual abuse. At the talk show, communities and girls were sensitized on mechanisms to protect themselves. Girls and boys were urged to make the right life choices and prepare to return to school when they re-open. Teenage mothers were encouraged to return to school after delivery.