Key policy makers have been called on to commit to urgent action in support of adolescent girls.
US First Lady Michelle Obama made the call at the opening of the Spring Meetings at the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C, on Wednesday.
Rwanda’s Ambassador to the US Mathilde Mukantabana represented Rwanda in a meeting dubbed, ‘Let Girls Learn’, a special event featuring Mrs. Obama.
‘Let Girls Learn’ was launched in March 2015 with a mission to address the range of challenges preventing adolescent girls from attending and completing school, and from realising their potential as adults.
Only three countries, Rwanda, Ghana, and India were chosen to announce their commitment to improving the lives of adolescent girls in their countries.
Ambassador Mukantabana showcased the various efforts that Rwanda has made to ensure that the Rwandan girl is offered a platform where she can realise her full potential.
“One such commitment was the creation of the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF). Under its umbrella, National Commission for Children (NCC) was also established in 2011 to promote both children rights and opportunities for adolescent girls to develop into productive and responsible citizens,” said Mukantabana.
Ambassador Mukantabana highlighted the reputation of Rwanda as a “gender powerhouse,” a philosophy that has been made a priority for policy makers under the leadership of President Paul Kagame.
Due to the special case of Rwanda being a post conflict and fast developing country, emphasis has been put on a holistic approach for sustainable change.
Foundations such as Imbuto led by the First Lady Jeannette Kagame, have been championing the efforts of ensuring that the needs of the entire family are met, thus providing conducive environment for girls to learn and grow.
All three countries that were represented made an economic case for investing further in girls to those present, the majority of them being active members of global finance and development.
“As a nation, we want to build a Rwanda where more adolescent girls pursue higher education, jobs held traditionally by men, gain access to credit, run their own businesses, and continue to holistically contribute to society.
‘‘We envision a Rwanda, where all barriers for girl’s education across all levels are eliminated, laying the groundwork for a strong and prosperous future,” said Ambassador Mukantabana in her concluding remarks.
First Lady Michele Obama said, “When we invest in girls’ education it doesn’t just benefit them. It benefits all of us.”
The President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim announced that $2.5 billion will be invested in education for girls.