Today, we turn our attention to promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights by addressing the challenges girls face. Judy Gitau, the Africa Regional Coordinator for Equality Now, shines a light on policy and law change for sexual and reproductive health and rights for schoolgirls in Sierra Leone.
This year, the International Day of the Girl (Child) emphasises girls as leaders; as change-makers; for driving good and growth around the world. Described by the United Nations as the “fundamental source of transformational change for gender equality”, girls are celebrated worldwide on this very day to support their work, activism, and leadership in milestones in female history.
In this special podcast episode, our guest host and founding chair Sara Seims speaks to Judy about her experience as one of the lead advocates in a lawsuit against the Sierra Leonean government at the Economic Community of West African States (or ECOWAS) at their Court of Justice, for denying pregnant schoolgirls the right to education.
Judy was part of the legal team that drafted the pleadings for court and acted as a guardian for the interests of the girls in court. She was also partly responsible for the programmatic work in Sierra Leone on legal advocacy and changing social norms, by amplifying the voices of survivors, in this case, the voices of young girls across different platforms, nationally, in Sierra Leone, as well as regionally and globally.