Sixteen year old Juliet Dande,a student, addressing the media after a 'taking over' as the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General during the International Day of the Girl. She is flanked by Mr.Lennart Reinius,Country Director,Plan International Kenya and CA DG Mr. Francis Wangusi. Juliet a student from Our Lady of Fatima in Nairobi, had a chance to chair a management meeting and address staff.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) in conjunction with the Plan International Kenya today hosted the International Day of the Girl (IDG) celebrations, which saw a 16 year old girl, take over the Director General’s position at the Authority.

Juliet Dande, a Form Two (2) student at Our Lady of Fatima in Kibera, Nairobi, had a lifetime chance to take over as CA Director General for about two hours as part of events marking the day.

In her ‘new’ capacity, Juliet chaired a meeting of senior management and also had chance address staff of the authority on her expectations. The ‘Take Over’ concept is meant to offer opportunities to young girls to step into the shoes of Political, Social and Economic leaders.

TheIDG is marked annually on 11th October to highlight and address the needs and challenges girl’s face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.

“Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG5) on Gender Equality is not about girls and women only, they cannot change the world alone, they need allies,’’ said Mr. Lennart Reinius, Country Director, Plan International Kenya, during a media briefing. He challenged various stakeholders raging from the government, the civil society, corporates, leaders, parents and children to collaborate in addressing gender discrimination in the society.

CA Director General Mr. Francis Wangusi said termed the take over initiative a novel idea offering young girls a lifetime experience that reinforces the fact that no dream is beyond realization.

“This experience is an incredible boost to her confidence as a girl, and a sure proof that all dreams and aspirations that people have can be realized. It will definitely encourage her to aspire for greater achievements in life as she continues to pursue her studies,’’ said Mr. Wangusi

The DG said the Authority has equally put in place interventions to promote gender equity at the work place as well as protect the interests of children in the media space and the Internet.

The Authority is implementing a Programming Code for Free-to-Air radio and TV broadcasting that obligates the media to take measures to protect children and encourage programing that develops their physical, mental and social potential.

Additionally, Mr. Wangusi announced that the Authority would roll out the second phase of the Child Online Protection (COP) in February next year. The initiative dubbed seeks to create awareness on safety of children on the Internet. The first phase was implemented in 2015. Mr. Wangusi added that Plan International, a key partner in the campaign since 2015, would now be able to incorporate more of the children and especially girls in this second phase of the project.

The Department of Children Services (DCS) representative Mrs. Marygorret Mogaka who attended the event said the Government is concerned with the progress in realization of gender equity in the country and will continue to push for changes in the law and policies that advance those efforts. Ms. Mogaka also indicated that Children’s Bill 2017 is set to be validated, through collaborative efforts with various Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s) and other partners.

Both Communications Authority of Kenya and Plan International Kenya also promised to work together in petitioning the 12th Parliament to fast track the enactment of the Computer and Cybercrimes Bill 2017 to, among others, to enable timely and effective detection, investigation and prosecution of computer and cybercrimes in Kenya. They expressed confidence that if both State and Non-state actors work together to advocate for the enactment and implementation of legislations and policies to curb cybercrimes, Kenyan children will have a transformed and protective society that guarantees their rights and freedoms.

Every year during the IDG, Plan International in liaison with various partners implements a number of initiatives to promote girls’ visibility, drive new opportunities for action and investment in girls from across the world.

Plan International envisions reaching 100 million girls globally in the next 5 years in line with its global strategy.