International Day of the Girl Child

Tajik children express their vision for an equal future through art

Date: Sunday, October 11, 2020

The winner in the Best drawing category, Varvara Akymycheva, 12 y.o. Photo: UN Women/ Firdavs Sharipov
The winner in the Best drawing category, Varvara Akymycheva, 12 y.o. Photo: UN Women/ Firdavs Sharipov

In cooperation with the Art Doshan creative association, UN Women in Tajikistan held a children's art contest entitled: ‘My voice, our equal future’ to mark International Day of the Girl. The Day aims to promote girls’ empowerment and children expressed their views on this through their art, raising awareness about the rights of girls. With competition voting taking place online, the contest and its equality message reached more than 45,000 Internet users across Tajikistan.

An award ceremony for the contest winners took place on 18 October in Dushanbe. Through their works, children aged 5 to 12 reflected their global vision as well as desire to live and grow up in a world without gender discrimination and with equal rights and opportunities.  In total, 66 works were submitted to the contest. Voting was held online in social networks (Facebook and Instagram), with some works gaining more than 1,000 likes.

"We did not expect that children would be so well imbued with the theme of the contest,” said Nasiba Karimova, co-organizer of the contest and head of Art Doshan. “All the drawings that were accepted for the contest were very close to the theme, the children managed to show an equal future for all and the desire to grow up in a world with equal rights and opportunities," she said.

The artists whose works gained the most likes were declared the winners in four different categories: Best Drawing, Megalike, Most Creative Drawing, and Audience Award. With so many works reflecting the creators’ deep feelings and views on gender equality, it was also decided to create special prizes for participants.

Left: The winner in the most creative drawing category by Kulova Amina, 6 y.o. Right: The winner in the Best drawing category by Varvara Akymycheva, 12 y.o.
Left: The winner in the most creative drawing category by Kulova Amina, 6 y.o. Right: The winner in the Best drawing category by Varvara Akymycheva, 12 y.o.

"Boys and girls have equal rights, and can choose any profession they wish, and I expressed this in my work," said Varvara Akymycheva, the winner in the ‘Best Drawing’ category.

The award ceremony, in addition to the official part of the proceedings, also included a cultural programme. It included joint watching of thematic videos prepared by UN Women Tajikistan, as well as dances and scenes performed by children and adults. The activities explored the issue of child kidnapping and aimed to raise awareness about its prevention. The scenes also promoted gender equality.

The International Day of the Girl focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. This aim is to raise the issue of protecting the rights of girls throughout the world. Almost every fourth girl globally aged 15 to 19 has no job, no education, and no profession. It is estimated that by 2021 about 435 million women and girls in the world will live on less than US$ 2 a day. Of this number, 47 million women and girls globally will fall into poverty because of the coronavirus pandemic.