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International Day of the Girl-Child: COVID-19 has altered brilliant future of many girls, says Ama

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The outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic has forever altered the brilliant future of many girls in the country, as their hope of getting educated has forever been dampened.
 
Founder, Live Abundantly, Dr. Onyerinma Ama, who disclosed this yesterday, in a statement to commemorate the Girl-Child day, regretted that a large percentage of the country’s girls have become full members of the marginalised 50 per cent people, who do 75 per cent unpaid work.

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of Girls and the International Day of the Girl. October 11, 2012, was the first Day of the Girl Child.
 
She said: “Every year we globally mark the Girl-Child Day and promise to ensure the girls within our communities would have a better life expectancy, the ability to live to their fullest potential with their rights to education, health, nutrition and employment honoured. We pledge that they will not experience any form of violence, discrimination and other denigrating forms of abuse.

“Then, we turn on the news or read an article and the same girls we have pledged to protect have fallen victim to violence, child marriage, child labour, human trafficking, conflict and we once again take the mantle and promise more shall be done to right the situation.”

She stressed that being a girl in today’s global society has become a casualty of circumstances, an after-thought, as families decide who should go to school, work, play, do housework or tend to younger siblings. 

“The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the situation as many girls will never see the walls of a school let alone a school yard. Their brilliant futures have been forever altered, as they become full members of the marginalised 50 per cent who do 75 per cent of unpaid work.
 
“Being a girl results in a marked proportion of children falling victim to human trafficking, child labour, child marriage and all manner of indescribable forms of exploitation at a disproportionately higher level than their male counterparts. Their beautiful bodies are sold and wrecked before maturity by the cruelty of those who see them as no more than a commodity to be bought, sold and mutilated to suit their desires and economic benefit.”

Ama said being a girl is more than a footnote on a calendar, because it requires a mindset shift, which eliminates all forms of discrimination, violence, exploitation, harassment and negative cultural and religious practices.

“Being a girl is a commitment to ensuring nutrition, education, health and the ability to gain skills and training, which empower and leverage individual potential. Being a girl is a beautiful gift of strength, brilliance and joy, which families and communities should uphold and cherish.”


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