FOMWAN decries high rate of child abuse
The Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) has condemned child hawking, saying it happens as a result of extreme poverty in the country and that has led to higher rates of girl child drop out from schools.
Speaking during the programme to commemorate the International Day of Girl Child, Ameerah, FOMWAN Lagos Chapter, Dr. Alimah Shadia Egberongbe, said that the celebration of girl child is to remind the society about the need to educate children.
“Educating the girl child will build their social and economic compatibility and it will bring them out of ignorance, empower them and make them to be among those who are impacted positively among humanity” she said.
She noted that hawking of goods by children is rampant in Nigeria and many have accepted it as a normal way of life.
“While hawking goods, girl child are subjected to sexual assault or other forms of violence,” she lamented.
Egberongbe added that education of a girl child is one of the ways to eradicate poverty.
She urged government to prohibit child hawking by prescribing penalties for the parents and guardians who allows children to hawk on the streets.
“The government should enforce law banning girl child from hawking and also ensure that any child caught hawking, the parent will be prosecuted and face the due cause of law. By so doing, parents will desist from sending children to hawk and we will have more girls who will grow up as responsible women in the society,” she said.
She said education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women.
“So many things have gone wrong in educating the girl child. Our cultures as made the girl child lose opportunity of attaining greater height in society because we tend to rely mostly the male child.
“Though In the South here we have the practice of enrolling the girl child in school but our problem is retaining them. For example if along the line the parent face challenges, it is the girl child who is ask to drop out of school and assist the parent while the male child continue his education. In the process the girl child may get involve with societal ills like being rape or force into early marriage”