The Government of Uganda in partnership with the United Nations in Uganda will launch a campaign dubbed The Education Plus Initiative to accelerate actions and investments among adolescent girls.
According to the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education and Sports Ketty Lamaro, the Education Plus Initiative will be supported by five UN agencies namely, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UN WOMEN, UNICEF and UNESCO and the campaign will run for five years.
The high-level political advocacy is aimed at driving young women and boys as agents of change to prevent HIV, reduce teenage pregnancy, early marriages, gender-based violence with access to and completion of secondary school education as an entry point.
While addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, Mrs Lamaro also clarified that the yet to be launched campaign complements the ongoing high-level campaign on teenage pregnancy launched by the First Lady in 2021.
She also revealed that currently, the high risk of acquiring HIV is just one of the many threats adolescent girls and young women face to their health, safety, dignity, and life aspirations.
“While women and girls are biologically more susceptible to HIV than men and boys, unequal gender power dynamics and harmful gender norms are the root cause, compounded by intersecting forms of discrimination. keeping girls in secondary school is crucial – a right in and of itself, and a means to protect girls against HIV infection. Greater gains have been made in reducing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in countries that have higher completion rates for lower secondary school (50 per cent).”
Mrs Lamaro noted that the Education Plus’ Initiative is a Multi-Sectoral initiative aimed at bringing together Ministries of Education and Sports, Health, Gender Labour and Social Development, Local Government and other MDAs to focus on essential elements of what every adolescent girl and young woman is entitled to for effective transitioning to adulthood.
These include enrolment and completion of quality secondary education, universal access to sexuality education, fulfilment of sexual and reproductive health and rights, freedom from gender-based and sexual violence, school-to-work transitions and economic security and empowerment.
“The Initiative will in the first five years target adolescent girls and young women in regions and districts that registered the highest number of teenage pregnancies in 2021. These include North Central, Busoga, Bunyoro, Lango, Tooro and West Nile,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Education Plus Initiative will be launched on June 2, 2022, by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataha Museveni at Mengo Senior School Kampala from 2:00 pm and will be attended by senior government officials, development partners, the UN. Religious leaders, Private sector, and civil society Organizations. Students, Teachers and Parents.
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