By Kiyimba Bruno

Standard chartered bank in partnership with Brac Uganda has launched a girl child empowerment fund worth USD113000(shs420m) through the goal programme.

The fund was launched by the Minister of Gender Labor and social development Janet Mukwaya at Sheraton hotel Kampala in the presence of bank, BRAC management and the girls who have benefited ever since the programme was launched.

While launching, the minister asked the funders not only to look at the girl child but also the male since these are the men who are going to marry the girls in the future time to come.

“While looking at empowering the girl child, think of the boys too. It is shameless to have a master’s degree lady getting married to a primary two chap.” Said Mukwaya.

She also thanked standard chartered bank for the great pleasure of giving back to the girl child.

On the same function, the country director BRAC Uganda Mrs. Hassina Ahkter said that Uganda is witnessing increasing numbers of adolescent girls who are forced to leave school in order to look after their families while others are either married off or compelled in hazardous working environments because of the poverty that their families are facing.

“There are so many school age children remaining out of school in Uganda and increasing numbers are being married before the age of 18 years. This poses a serious threat to their lives, health and future prospects.”Noted Hassina.

She added that global statistics show that with seven years of education, a girl marries on average four years and later has 2.2 children as compared to their counterparts with less education.

She added that although the vast majority of African and other countries in the world have ratified the ILO convention on the worst forms of child labour,16%of girls worldwide are involved In child labor.

In the least developed countries, education figure rises to 28% and girls are particularly at risk because of lower rates of education and literacy and higher rates of early school drop outs.

Goal is a sport for development programme that provides financial literacy and life skills training to adolescent girls. Goal aims to empower and equip adolescent girls with the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to be integral economic leaders  in their families, communities and societies.