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Parliament Launches New Forum for Adolescent Girls

Code-named the Parliamentary Advocacy Platform for the Adolescent Girl, the forum will bring together legislators, legislators working in the interest of promoting education, health and gender issues, to promote access to justice, advocate for youth friendly legislation and combat school related gender based violence.

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A new forum to improve the lives of adolescent girls in Uganda has been launched thanks to efforts by the United Nations Children's' fund and the office of the First lady Janet Museveni.

Code-named the Parliamentary Advocacy Platform for the Adolescent Girl, the forum will bring together legislators, legislators working in the interest of promoting education, health and gender issues, to promote access to justice, advocate for youth friendly legislation and combat school related gender based violence.

Bukuya County MP Dr Micheal Bukenya says the platform plans to influence national and local budgets and policies to promote menstrual hygiene in schools, and to advocate keeping girls in school by promoting both upstream and downstream stake action. It will also seek to eliminate forced and early child marriages.

//Cue in; we therefore ask…

Cue out…to be enforced."//

The platform was launched on Saturday at Masuliita Children's Village, in Wakiso district where hundreds of girls are being supported to overcome vulnerabilities of life.  They receive vocational training skills which empower them to become self-reliant.

14-year-old Anna Nakiru from Napak, one of the beneficiaries undertaking a one year's tailoring course at Masuliita, says she had to run away from her mother who wanted her to instead become a beggar on the streets of Kampala.

According to UNICEF, Karamoja, where Nakiru hails from is the most challenging region in which to be an adolescent girl in Uganda. 53 percent of the adolescent girls in the region are vulnerable to abuse. These vulnerabilities include, teenage pregnancies, Female Genital Mutilation, failure to complete school, and HIV.

Education Minister Janet Kataaha Museveni called upon all stake holders to teach adolescent girls how to fight for themselves and for what they want.

//Cue in; no matter how…

Cue out…fight for themselves."//

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