Let girls choose their futures – Zuma
Girls have the right to take charge of their futures, President Jacob Zuma has said.
“Young children must have a right to decide their own future,” he said in a statement on International Day of the Girl Child.
“It is through education that we can help to empower them, so that they can make their own independent decisions on the lives that they want to lead.”
Zuma urged the government, civil society and families to help nurture young girls to realise their full potential and have prosperous futures. This included ensuring they received an education.
“When children drop out of school early, it often leads to teenage pregnancies and life-threatening risks such as HIV infections and other sexual and reproductive diseases, which prevents them from fulfilling their dreams.
“In most instances it also prevents these young girls from breaking from a cycle of poverty that they have become entrenched in.”
The United Nations last year declared October 11 International Day of the Girl Child.
The theme of the event this year was the problem of early child marriages, the presidency said.