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October 1- 31, 2014

ISSUE 102

A monthly newspaper by the Media Diversity Centre, a project of African Woman and Child Feature Service

d l i h C l r i G e h t g n i Celebrat

Red flag raised for the girl child

Girls from Machakos County in a performance that explains they are too important and worth being treated equally with the boys. Picture: Henry Owino

As interventions are put in place to curtail the vices By HENRY OWINO As the world marks the International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, female children remain endangered as they face various challenges that hinder them from progressing. Girls all over the country and the world at large are facing various challenges that are not unique to any one specific area. However, a red flag has been raised on the state of the girl child in Machakos County where the number of female children being abused has become an issue of major concern to the local authorities.

Concerned parents have tried in vain to eliminate this practice which has made the community lag behind in empowering the girl child and especially in enabling her get education. Several parents from Machakos County recommend their children to work as house-helps and herdsmen in other counties. These are normally school age going children exposed to dangerous environment away from and by their parents just for income generating purposes. However, the nature of these child abuses is in various forms: child-labour, trafficking, early marriages and immorality among other vices. These practices deny the children their right to

education which is key to success in life. Plan International, a humanitarian childcentred development organization has intervened to curb the practice. The aim is to help all children in Machakos County realise their rights to protection from discrimination, violence, exploitation and other abuses. Evangeline Naunjiri, Programme Unit Manager in Machakos County says there are many girl-child abuses that go on silently. “Most of the abuses are due to ignorance by parents and children themselves about rights,” says Naunjiri. Her personal experience and now working

for Plan International on the ground, Naunjiri pointed out discrimination and child preference in education is common. “Boys are favoured by parents compared to girls evidenced by the number of girls completing school either at primary or secondary levels of education,” she explains. Naunjiri notes with regrets that parents have given boys a lot of recognition and privileges concerning education compared to girls whose education is under-rated. “Girls are told that there place is in the kitchen and that they will be married to a man Continued on page 4

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Reject Online Issue 102  

October 2014 Issue. The Reject is a monthly publication by the Media Diversity Centre, a project of African Woman & Child

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