Activists mourn the loss of girls’ futures as a result of UK Aid cuts.
“I no longer learn skills as I used to.” Like many young girls seeking a better future, Gloria (pictured above) was studying to become a tailor. When the school closed down as a result of the pandemic, Gloria’s future was left hanging in the balance.
“Because I am a girl, my parents only see me as a marriage resource – nothing else.” With school closures, Gloria is unable to fulfil her dreams of becoming a tailor, creating a greater risk of forced marriage and unwanted pregnancy. Cuts to UK Aid were a devastating blow to Gloria and her future.
“I am afraid, scared, but also my future is so uncertain now that these initiatives are no longer active due to no funding”
Gloria’s story is just one of many girls’ stories shared with us in response to the UK aid cuts vote. Because of the pandemic, girls across East Africa are experiencing an increased risk of forced school dropout, child marriage, unwanted pregnancies, lack of access to healthcare and gender-based violence. UK government cuts to vital programmes mean these girls may never recover from the pandemic.
Young activists passionate about girls’ rights headed to Parliament to share the stories of young girls.
Walking with a gravestone reading ‘RIP Girls Futures’, activists shared stories and raised the voices of girls like Gloria to hold the UK government to account regarding the impact of their devastating decision to abandon girls’ futures.
Irise continues to collect the stories of young girls impacted by the pandemic. Please consider sharing stories of young girls you work with to [email protected].