Group fetes female pupils to celebrate International Day of Girl-child
An appeal has been made to government at all levels to pay more attention to the girl-child in the society through interaction, sensitisation and intervention to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on them.
Coordinator, Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), Lagos Chapter, Mrs. Aderonke Kimemenihia made the call during the celebration of the International Day of the Girl-child, with the theme: “My Voice, Our Equal Future” with 55 girls in Maryland, Lagos.
According to her, more than 50 per cent of the out-of-school children in the country are girls, thus indicating that education has remained less accessible to them.
She listed other challenges faced by the girl-child to include female genital mutilation, early marriage, gender discrimination and exclusion across the world.
Kimemenihia stated that since girls enjoy socially prescribed role as ‘caregivers’ in households, providing psychological intervention during the pandemic becomes increasingly necessary to help raise their voices and keep them equally active in their own development.She encouraged girls to avail themselves of opportunities to pursue their education, to help them build skills for the future.
“While there is an improvement in the support for these areas of concern, there is still slow growth in gender parity and as technology expands into various parts of our world, girls are having more access to opportunities than they initially had. Yet, there is a lot that needs to be done to close the gap, which remains brutal for girls,” she said.
Kimemenihia said CSACEFA took the campaign to girls in the community to speak out and take actions to promote sustainable development and close the inequality gaps between boys and girls, men and women.
Also, CSACEFA’s Secretary, Mrs. Stella Olubunmi Francis, explained some parts of the Nigerian constitution and how it affected the rights and responsibilities of the girl-child.
She encouraged girls not to be distracted, but to speak out whenever there were indications that their rights were being trampled upon.
Another speaker, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Towobola, spoke about speaking up against sexual abuse. She examined the dynamics, which sexual exploitations against girls have assumed in the recent times.
Towobola, who is CSACEFA’s Treasurer, pointed out that girls should focus more on their dreams and aspirations, as early pregnancy and STDs can impact on their chances to quality education.
She highlighted the communication channel available to girls who need to speak out, especially when it involves sexual abuse. The girls received free copies of the storybook ‘Flower Girl’ authored by Mrs Aderonke Kimemenihia.