Kampala, Uganda | AFRICATEMBELEA | The Nabagereka of Buganda Sylvia Nagginda has asked girls to stand up against harmful cultural barriers that limit their aspirations.
The Nabagereka who was speaking at the commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child at Bulange in Mengo noted that several achievements have been realized towards empowering the girl child, however, they are being impeded by the cultural barriers.
She notes that with over 21,000 cases of abuse reported against the girls during the lockdown, it undermines their efforts of keeping the girls safe. She also said that it is unfortunate that the key culprits are the fathers.
Nabagereka says negative cultural practices and actions disguised as forms of discipline should be replaced with positive practices.
The commissioner Youth and Children Affairs Fred Ngabirano says that cases of sexual violence that were reported using the SAUTI child helpline increased within 6 months during the lockdown from 20% in March to 40 percent by July.
The World Vision board chairperson Susan Lubega Busulwa noted that the lockdown exposed gaps in the different areas that need to be addressed to enable the girl child to thrive.
She cites parenting skills, the effectiveness of child protection structures in communities and the capacity of girls to protect themselves.
Lubega notes that the scale and extent of violence against children during the lockdown should be a wake-up call for cultural institutions to take action especially at the family level.
Esther Mudondo, a student at Seeta High says that parents should spare adequate time for their children and guide them.
Sheila Nanono, a pupil at Hormisdallen Primary School says that she will help in transforming the mindset of her peers to focus on their education and avoid being lured into marriage or ending up on the streets.