On the occasion of this year’s Day of the Girl Child which falls on October 11, Standard Bank took lead in the banking sector to mentor about 400 girls in selected branches nationwide.
Explaining why the bank hosted the girls, Chief Financial Officer Temwani Simwaka said this is the third year that the bank has commemorated the day by inviting them to experience first-hand the different careers that make the bank functional and robust.
“We all agree that there is hope for the girl child. A hope that comes because the world is ready to carve a new approach on how we support our girl child. It is from this hope that girls will achieve more than before be it in school, at home and in the community,” she said.
She further noted that the presence of the girls in other branches in Lilongwe, Zomba, Blantyre and Mzuzu presented in totality the desired foundation from which girls can build concrete career aspirations.
“Your presence today is significant because it kickstarts a new chapter in how you view the world around you. It is an opportunity for you, young girls to be exposed to the professional workplace at a tender age. Furthermore, through this day you get to understand and appreciate endless job opportunities available within the workplace.”
The girls spent the whole day at the bank and were taken on a tour of different departments to understand how the bank’s employees carry out their daily tasks.
In addition, Standard Bank also arranged visits for the girls at reciprocal partner companies namely; Umodzi Park, Latitude, Women Lawyers Association of Malawi, KK Security and Nation Publications Limited for a similar program.
Issues brought to limelight on this day are inequalities in areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence against women and child marriage.
In addition, the day also celebrates successful girls and women who have broken barriers. To make the events inclusive, Standard Bank this year included male employees as mentors for the young girls.
“Primarily, the efforts around empowerment of women and girls was a female thing. We did not grant men and boys enough space to be part of our journey. Today men and boys are being urged to become an integral part in gender equality issues at home, school and the workplace if we are to achieve a better world for everyone,” said Simwaka.
The inclusion of men comes as reaction to a global campaign set by the United Nations in 2014 to reorganize energies and strategies in what has become the HeForShe campaign.
International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations on October 11, 2012, to support more opportunity for girls and increase awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide. The theme for 2019 was: “GirlForce: “Unscripted and Unstoppable.”