During the commemoration, young girls in the country used the platform as an opportunity to raise their voices on discrimination, harassment and inequalities that hold them back from reaching their full potentials with a key highlight on child marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and teenage pregnancy.
Nyahiri Matinyi who took over the position of acting country director for Plan International Tanzania Gwynneth Wong’s, said that the International day of girls is a key global moment to celebrate the power of girls and highlights the barriers they face.
“I believe when girls have equal opportunities, they can transform themselves, their families and community as a whole,” Matinyi explained.
Speaking at the event, Neema Ndemo, youth for change project coordinator said that they have taken part in youth and girls takeovers and through the platform they have managed to empower and transform the lives of many young people.
“Together with partners and stakeholders, still plan international envisages sustainable girls in wider spaces and places where they are rarely seen or hear,” she said.
Jessica Alex, a girl who took over the position of High Commissioner of Canada in Tanzania, state that Tanzanian girls need to be empowered and mentored to reach the required skills in careers and the market workforce.
“The only way to do that is by ending cultural stereotypes and unconscious bias that has persistently kept a girl behind in every available opportunity,” said Jessica during her speech as the High Commissioner.
Jennifer Kayombo, who took over the position of head of development corporation of Swedish embassy in Tanzania said that “equip us with resources and opportunities so that we can fully unleash or potentials”. Zuhura Abdul, a third year student at the University of Dar es Salaam who was among beneficiaries of Plan International programme ‘girls take over’ explained that the programme is an opportunity to show the world that when all barriers of our developments are held back, we can take a leading role in the development of our society.
The event held at the Canadian High Commission residence was attended by various stakeholders, Canadian High Commission, femina Hip, Swedish Embassy, UK DFID, Jhpiego, Precision Air, National Microfinance Bank, Deloitte, Hawa foundation and the government to jointly advocate for girls power and to draw attention to the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls.