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First Lady Inaugurates National Task Force on the Adolescent Girl

KAMPALA, 20 November 2015- The First Lady and Minister of Karamoja Affairs, Mrs. Janet Museveni, has inaugurated a first-of-its-kind National Task Force on the Adolescent Girl.
 
Speaking at State House in Nakasero, Mrs. Museveni said, “As adolescent girls are the future mothers of our children, their health, well-being and empowerment are vital to a brighter future for our families and country.”
 
She added that “without a strong family, all of our efforts and interventions will not be effective; we must therefore work with parents and families who have the primary responsibility for their children.”
 
The inauguration meeting, organized by the Office of the First Lady, brought together senior officials from government ministries and departments, United Nations Agencies, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), who have formed the task force to harmonize health, education, protection and empowerment interventions to better address the unique risks and vulnerabilities faced by adolescent girls.
 
Earlier this year, recognizing the transformative power of adolescent girls when the right investments are made in them, the UN requested the First Lady to be the high-level Champion for Adolescent Girls across the country, which she accepted.
 
"We thank the First Lady for her extraordinary commitment to all adolescent girls across Uganda today, and for her deep appreciation that by focusing investments in them Uganda will accelerate its progress towards achieving many of its Sustainable Development Goal targets by 2030 as well as its Vision 2040 goal of becoming an upper middle income country,” said Aida Girma, UNICEF's Representative in Uganda.
 
Furthermore, the UN’s acting Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Representative, Mrs. Esperance Fundura, appreciated the First Lady for her role in sharpening the focus on adolescent girls and for bringing all relevant stakeholders together to holistically improve the current and future well-being of adolescent girls in the country.
 
The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Mr. Muruli Mukasa, thanked the various partners for their support and commitment towards the initiative on adolescent girls.
 
Mr. Mukasa will Chair the task force at the policy level while the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Pius Bigirimana, who was also in attendance, will Chair the technical level.
 
Membership of the task force includes: the Office of the First Lady; the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Sports; Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries; Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs; Ministry of Internal Affairs; Ministry of Local Government; Ministry of ICT; the Uganda AIDS Commission; Judiciary; Director of Public Prosecution; the Law and Order Sector; Representatives of UN Agencies; Representatives of CSOs; the National Planning Authority; the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda; the Uganda Law Society; Family Life Network and UCAN.


Situation of Adolescent Girls in Uganda
 
·        Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world with 56% of the population under the age of 18 and 70% less than 25 years of age.
 
·        Adolescents account for 24% of the population – over 8 million citizens.
 
Why Adolescent Girls?
 
·        While all adolescents — both boys and girls — have the same rights, girls face disproportionate risks and unique vulnerabilities compared to boys.
 
·        For example, girls are more likely to drop out of school, marry at an early age, experience sexual violence, and bear the brunt of sexual and reproductive health issues.
 
·        There is clear and compelling evidence that investments in adolescent girls will not only reduce their risk of experiencing these issues but will lead to broad and positive impacts for themselves, their families, their communities, and the country as a whole.
 
·        Through girls’ future participation in the labour force, wise family planning choices, and health, they will play a pivotal role in breaking the inter-generational transmission of poverty and accelerate Uganda’s socio-economic development and realization of Vision 2040.
 

For more information, please contact:

IN OAFLA
Beat Bisangwa, Executive Director OAFLA, +256 772 469309, +256 756 469309, oaflauganda@utlonline.co.ug, bbeat001@gmail.com

In the United Nations
• Jaya Murthy, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Uganda, +256 772 171100, jmurthy@unicef.org
• Catherine Ntabadde Makumbi, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Uganda, +256 772629567, +256 703 729 567, cntabadde@unicef.org

 

 
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