More than a hundred of people partners in girls’ rights have concluded a three-day Girl Learning Summit of immersive and interactive sessions to share vision of bringing girls to the forefront of programming and policy and to deliver results for Rwanda’s adolescent girls.
The summit whose the main focus was to enable adolescent girls aged 10-19 to fulfill their potential and become agents of change for Rwanda, was prepared by Gender Monitoring Office and the Girls Hub Rwanda.
Rose Rwabuhihi, the Chief Gender Monitor at the Gender Monitoring Office said that investing in girls sparks a ripple effect of change and called upon Rwandans to enable girls to succeed through adolescence and unable them to lead their community development.
Kate Wedgwood, the Girl Hurb Country Director said that there is an incredibly ambitious community focuses on girls in Rwanda.
“Often, though, we don’t have the opportunity to collaborate or build connections. The girl Learning summit has provided a brilliant way to bring together people from across sectors that, together can enable girls to drive social and economic growth”, she said.
Research shows that investment in girls return big dividends. When a girl receives seven years of education she marries four later and has 2.2 fewer children. An extra year of secondary school increases her eventual wages by 25 percent.
Not only that, but also a report from the World Bank shows also that if young women were employed at the same rate like boys, Rwanda would add USD 30m annually to the economy.
In his remarks, Lamin Momodou Manneh, the United Nations Resident Coordinator commended Rwanda for its success achieving Millennium Development goals and in ensuring girls’ voices are heard and considered throughout the post 2015 development debate.
“Rwanda is on track to meet most of the MDGs targets including universal primary education, promoting gender equality, educing maternal and child mortality and combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria, and other major diseases”, he said.
However, Manneh said that there are some countries where girls aged from 9, 10, 11, are still walking kilometers to fetch water and look for fire woods; others are pulled out the school at 12 to be married.
“Everyone is in a position to ensure that leaders in Rwanda and around the world hear girls’ voices and that these voices are recognized in the post-2015 development agenda”, he added.