In this regard, investment in programmes that support girl children is absolutely necessary to fill prevailing gender gaps and assist girl children to garner the skills and competencies that will elevate them to positions of leadership and responsibility. The Forum associates itself fully with the UNICEF-led campaign "Invest in girls' rights: our leadership, our well-being" which calls for a significant increase in investments to support adolescent girls. Parliaments should thus work to promote legislation that protect girl children, adopt budgets that empower girl children through targeted programmes, and proceed with oversight initiatives which holds Government accountable on the need to effectively implement measures that provide education, health care and a stable life to young girls and adolescents.
The Forum will also continue to assist Parliaments and partners to domesticate legal norms around the protection of the girl child by advocating for the progressive incorporation of the SADC Model Law on Child Marriage and other international instruments such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child developed by the African Union (AU). The Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 and Africa Agenda 2063 will heavily depend on a future where girl children are fully empowered to become capable adults who can change the world for the better.
In the coming decade, the Forum will continue to relentlessly spearhead initiatives that protect girl children who are at the core of stable and inclusive societies, and represent the heart of Africa’s existential future.
May girl children continue to prosper in Southern Africa and beyond! Yours faithfully,
Boemo M SEKGOMA (Ms) SECRETARY GENERAL