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OWSD harps on skill acquisition to bridge gender gap

By Shakirah Adunola
15 October 2022   |   4:02 am
The Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), Lagos branch, has charged government at all levels to prioritise girl child education to strengthen the economy and reduce gender inequalities.

The Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), Lagos branch, has charged government at all levels to prioritise girl child education to strengthen the economy and reduce gender inequalities.

In commemoration of International Day of the Girl Child, themed ‘Our Time is Now, Our Right, Our Future: Empowering the Girl Child’, the group organised competitions and exhibitions for secondary school students to showcase their entrepreneurial skills.

Speaking at the event, the state coordinator of OWSD, Dr. Taofikat Adesalu, said the group was focusing on income-generating skills for the girl child this year to help them develop sustainable livelihood.

She noted that the group emphasises skill acquisition for the girl child to enable her to be independent, self-sufficient, live a productive life and overcome peer pressure.

She said: “This programme is put together to commemorate International Day of the Girl Child. We started on Thursday, with 30 female students competing in different skills ranging from fashion design, hairdressing, make up and graphic design. At the end of the Thursday competition, 10 students made it to the final. Today, the best three will be selected and empowered with equipment that will aid their skills.”

She added that the group focuses more on ensuring that female children are interested in science professions but noted that at the rate the world was moving, entrepreneurial skills were also paramount.

“We are in the era of entrepreneurship; you have to learn how to trade to boost your empowerment. We believe that many girls used to run away from science subjects because they don’t like physics, chemistry and most especially mathematics. So, we are trying to encourage them. We are not only targeting science students but also others,” she added.

The LOC Chairperson, Dr. Felicia Elijah, who is a lecturer at the Department of Chemistry, University of Lagos, said it was crucial to empower the girl child with entrepreneurial skills to help her develop sustainable livelihood.

On her part, the Director of Distance Learning, University of Lagos, Prof. Uche Unga, advocated for legislations that would protect the right of the girl child.

“Government should amplify support for girl child education by bringing in frameworks that can enable the girl child to fulfill her potentials. The girl child is not fulfilling her potentials because of several things that are happening in our society like early marriages, gender inequalities and the belief that the place of the woman is the home. Hands must be on deck; mothers should not give their daughters out to early marriage,” she advised.

To the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Field of Skills and Dreams, Mrs. Omowale Ogunrinde, lifetime skills are crucial in this century as it helps to build resilience, integrity, time management and give financial literacy.

“We need to teach the girl child life skills like entrepreneurship and understand that women face particular issues in life. Issues like childbearing years, gender-based issues, fertility and others. Women are better managers of finances and resources. If we put in the effort to educate and enlighten and empower our girl children from their adolescent years, the whole society will be a better place to live,” she said.