International Day of the Girl 2018 was celebrated in Jordan with a series of events designed and led by girls as part of the global #GirlsTakeover campaign.
All the activities in Jordan had a focus on preventing violence against girls and women, including early marriage, and supporting vulnerable groups including children with disabilities.
Through the events, which targeted Syrian refugee and Jordanian communities across the country, the girls called for equality and an end to violence against women.
Girls lead change for children with disabilities
In Jordan, children with disabilities are among the most discriminated against groups. In addition they lack services and support.
In Jerash-north girls led an event in collaboration with the Institute for Family Health, the Ministry of Development and the Jordanian Community Policing and Family Protection Society.
The event included girls and young women with disabilities in activities to empower them and challenge perceptions about their capabilities in their communities while raising awareness on violence against women and the benefits of gender equality.
Another event in Karak saw girls and young women from the Deaf and Dumb Association delivering the message that their disabilities would not hold them back from following their dreams.
One of the girls participating in the event said, “Most girls with disabilities dropped out of school after the seventh grade because of the weak education system and lack of services for children with disabilities. Everyone around me wanted me to quit but I refused.”
Girls take over television
As part of the Day of the Girl celebrations in Jordan, Saja and Razan appeared on national television to discuss ways to prevent and respond to violence against girls and women.
Speaking on Roya channel, Saja, 17, said, “We have to increase parents’ awareness on this issue and ensure every girl has the appropriate education so she can make the right decisions.”
Razan, 16, added, “Girls are always underestimated. In order to reach equality we have to change cultural and traditional practices. Girls can make a difference and impact their communities if they have the chance to do so”.
The girls prepared and led a report on gender-based violence and gender equality which included interviewing people on the street about their opinions.
Creating female leaders in Azraq refugee camp
Around 8,000 of the registered refugees at Azraq camp are girls and young women. The harsh environment and lack of services affect their well-being and safety, and often cause them to miss out on an education or get married at an early age.
As part of the International Day of the Girl celebrations in Jordan, Plan International empowered girls to take up leadership positions that will allow them to stand up against violence in the camp.
In addition, girls in the camp also took over the management of a school for the day in collaboration with UNICEF and the school management team.
Activities in Azraq camp also included girls taking over at a health clinic in collaboration with the International Medical Corps.
Fatima, 12, said, “I was the doctor today, it was amazing experience, I want to become a doctor in the future, but I need to complete my education first”.