This year the world is marking 2016 as the year for Global Girls. It is the year that Goal 5 of the Global Goals is taking centre stage. Goal number 5 of the sustainable development goals is: “To achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. This goal represents tackling areas of education, power, violence and discrimination where there is inequality between men & women.

                                                                                          PART 1.

In 2000, 62 million girls were without primary education, that figure dropped to 31 million in 2015. By 2030 our nation is aiming to have all girls’ complete primary and secondary education.  According to UNESCO in 2013 in Tanzania, 81% of females were enrolled in primary education, but only 31% of females were enrolled in secondary education.

Goal 5 also aims to end all forms of discrimination and violence against all girls and women. In Tanzania according to the report by UNICEF in 2016 the prevalence of FGM (female genital mutilation) between girls between the ages of 15-49 is 15%. The percentage of girls married before they turn 18 in Tanzania is 37%.

At present females represent 22% of global seats in government. By 2030 the aim is to have female & male representation in government at equal. According to recent data 30% of the seats in Tanzanian government are occupied by women.

These are ambitious goals but we are living in a society where there have never been more powerful women, therehas never been a greater opportunity to fight for women and for equality. This generation is the generation of Global Girls.

This year African Impact Moshi is celebrating the year of Global Girls with the launch of our Girl Impact program.  This programme aims to empower and educate girls and boys in our community on health issues, equality, challenges faced by women today in Tanzania and worldwide, and most importantly how to overcome those challenges, and speak up for your rights.

In Moshi this programme is taking on many different forms, it is still in its early stages but we have already celebrated many accomplishments.  We welcomed the arrival of our first volunteer Marina from Italy in March, she was with us for two weeks and during her time here she helped deliver workshops to college students on menstrual health, sexual health & HIV and the implications of these for girls in Tanzania. She also worked in a kindergarten class and our ‘Community Class’ where the structure has changed with the introduction of Girl Impact Thursdays where staff and volunteers facilitate discussions on topics such as gender norms, role of the dowry & HIV. These mornings have been amazing with great participation and debate sparked among volunteers and students. Marina left us at the end of March but posted some beautiful words on Facebook telling her followers what she learnt while volunteering on our Girl Impact programme.

 ‘I learned how to give, I learned how to listen and give answers to sensitive topics, I understood that a hug can make my day and driving the little hand of a child on a outlined letter can be so funny and enriching. I observed a different culture and discussed about relationships and the role of woman in a tribal society’.

With the departure of Marina we welcomed the arrival of Girl Impact volunteer number two Alison. This also marked the return to a wonderful project NAFGEM, a haven for inspiring girls who escaped female genital mutilation… Read more about this next week!