Miss teargas: girl, 11, takes over Kayihura office

Elizabeth Atukunda taking over from Kayihura

Last week, an eleven-year-old schoolgirl was given a grand opportunity to pose as the country’s police chief for a whole long day.

Elizabeth Atukunda is one of hundreds of girls taking part in the International Day of the Girl, which aims to promote equal opportunities for women in countries across the world.

In the same week, in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, another lucky girl, Stacia Nampijja, became Uganda’s leading financial institution, Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer for the day.

She chaired a meeting of the banks top decision making body EXCO, met with senior Stanbic staff and visited the banks garden city branch where she interacted with customers.

Speaking before handing over his responsibilities to Stacia, Patrick Mweheire the Chief Executive of Stanbic emphasized the importance of providing mentorship and inspiration to the youth especially young girls who face multiple challenges as they grow up.

“Despite the gains made over the past two decades, Uganda as a society is still a long way to go towards achieving equality both within and outside the workplace.”

The International Day of the Girl Child is a significant day celebrated annually on 11th October that aims to raise awareness about the issues faced by girls around the world.

A bigger percentage of the global development initiatives do not include or consider girls, and as such their issues become “invisible” and this must be addressed.

Stacia Nampijja who took over as Stanbic bank CEO

As part of the activities preceding this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, girls in different parts of the country are being supported to momentarily assume leadership positions in social, economic or political roles at different levels under the theme of “takeover” by Plan International Uganda and partners.

The takeovers intend to amplify girls’ voices to decision makers, private sector, media and the public.

They aim to change perceptions about what is possible for girls, and to transform power relations.  The takeovers highlight girls’ leadership potential as key social actors in development.