The National Planning Commission (NPC) launched a National Plan of Action (NPA) on the holistic development of adolescents to mark the second International Day of the Girl Child on October 4, 2013, which focused on ‘Innovating for Girls’ Education. Health (including SRH), Enabling and protective environment, Education and skills, Financial empowerment and livelihoods, Civic engagement and participation and Gender and social inclusion are the key areas outlined in this document. Acknowledging that adolescents (10 -19 years) are a group that requires focused attention to meet specific development needs, to help them understand their rights, and to engage them in addressing existing challenges, the government had envisioned and prepared this multi-sectoral NPA. An inter-ministerial task team was formed under the leadership of the NPC and was supported by UNFPA, UNICEF, CWIN, Save the Children, Plan Nepal, ILO, and the Consortium of organizations working for child participation. More than 2,000 adolescents and 1,000 adult stakeholders from all over the country were consulted during the drafting and finalization of the NPA.
The celebrations included the unveiling of the Nepali version of the ‘Girl Effect video’ a short animation video that focused on leveraging the unique potential of adolescent girls to end poverty. A shadow drama act by school children was also enacted. It focused on how gender based discrimination,. the discouraging school’s learning environment and the improvements that can be made as a result of the NPA.
Apart from this event many other activities were held throughout the country. There were several interactions between relevant adult stakeholders and adolescents on the subject of girls’ education in various UNFPA-supported districts and UNFPA worked with approximately 40 journalists to collect stories from the 18 UNFPA districts on adolescent girls and young women. The stories highlighted the supportive environment that helped some of the girls to continue education and overcome their challenges. The stories also focused on how a supportive environment during their adolescent years helped them become successful as women. Out of 40stories collected, eight were displayed in the gallery walk during IDG celebrations. Around 20 of the best stories will be published in a book. Photo stories by adolescent girls on their dream learning environment were also displayed in the gallery walk.
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