The status of the girl child is critical to achieving women’s quality and dignity which is in many ways a litmus test for the maturity of a society. Though life for the girl child is steadily improving, many are still subjected to horrific practices, such as female genital mutilation, son preference – often resulting in female infanticide – as well as child marriage, sexual exploitation and abuse. Girls are also more likely to experience
discrimination in food allocation and healthcare, and are often outpaced and outranked by boys in all spheres of life. Mostly girls in districts of Kanungu and Kisoro in Western Uganda, especially girls from Batwa tribe one of the marginalized tribes in these areas face various forms of discrimination, attitudes and practices which include early marriage, teenage pregnancy, sexual exploitation and rape, child labour in neighboring communities in tea gardens, lack of easily accessible primary schools and extreme poverty in their families. In addition, gender biases , stereotypes and narrowly defined gender roles place girls on the lowest rank of the social and family hierarchies, rendering them marginalized and most times socially invisible. This problem of a few girls who attend and complete school in this area can be proved by the lack of female teachers (Role models) in most schools of Kanungu. In Mpungu subcounty, only Buremba primary school has one female teacher, schools like Katunda, Kanyanshogi and Karambi mostly have male teachers which also leads to other girls dropping out of school because they lack inspiration from such people.Which motivates children by building their self-esteem and confidence, facilitating their access to education and helping them to seize opportunities to keep in school and complete studies and also someone whom they can share challenges with, while at school.
Our impact As Cherie Wilshire Foundation.
In order to eliminate girl child discrimination, gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse and many other challenges faced by girls, Cherie Wilshire Foundation has undertaken interventions to empower the girl child. Through our project of recruiting out of school children and enrolling school going age children into neighboring schools in the area of Kanungu, Kisoro Rukungiri, Masaka,Kalungu, Wakiso and Luwero many others, we have gone ahead to provide them with scholastic materials and school fees which has increased the participation of girls in formal primary education, completion and achievement rates in primary schools We are working closely with other stakeholders like the local leaders to make sure Policies and programmes initiated must be duty-bound to take into consideration the differing, yet critical, needs of the girl child in terms of physical protection from sexual and physical exploitation, discrimination in all forms including in the field of education, and increased awareness of the struggles being faced by girls today. thus lowering barriers to girls child’s education.
Through this education program and recruitment project of children especially girls, schools are transmitting knowledge and teaching girls essential life and livelihood skills, such as financial literacy, menstrual health and how to overcome different challenges like rape and early pregnancies.