The girl child: Our future and hope
International Day of the Girl 2022 has come and gone. Should we simply tick done and move on? I say no. Let’s us continue celebrating and working for the good of our female children.
This year the International day of the girl child was celebrated on Tuesday 11th October 2022. Its theme was “Our time is now- our rights, our future.”
2022 commemorates the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG).
The Girl-child is a biological human female offspring from birth to eighteen years of age. Recently, we have seen a surge of Girl-child education debates surrounding the primary, secondary, tertiary and health/safety education in particular for girls and young women.
These issues and debates on the education of the girl-child is not lost on the Nigerian nation as well as it is estimated that Nigeria has the largest population of youth in the world with girls being up to 40% of the number.
“Over the past 10 years, there has been increased attention on issues that matter to girls amongst governments, policymakers and the general public, and more opportunities for girls to have their voices heard on the global stage. Yet, investments in girls’ rights remain limited and girls continue to confront a myriad of challenges to fulfilling their potential; made worse by concurrent crises of climate change, COVID-19 and humanitarian conflict. Girls around the world continue to face unprecedented challenges to their education, their physical and mental wellness, and the protections needed for a life without violence.” – UNICEF
There are presently millions of school age girls in Nigeria who are out of school. We agree that the Nigerian girl-child needs to be educated now; it is her right to acquire knowledge and skills needed to advance her status for social interactions and self-improvement. When a girl- child is given safety education that is human dignity based alongside the curriculum based education; this prepares her to face the reality in society and teaches her to be a good person, wife, mother or other careers she may choose to embrace.
Little girls are the future, when we teach them to accept their God given identity and educate them on safety, we help them to find themselves and lead the way. Whilst educating girls and teaching them the safety in abstaining from body abuse, we are saving lives and building stronger families, communities and economies for the future. This is because an educated female population making wise choices increases a country’s productivity and fuels economic growth.
In discussing girls’ rights, my question is would a good father or mother encourage their pre-teen or teenage child to indulge in safe-sex (and most probably come out damaged and battered) when the child is still so immature and unready for the emotional stress, which accompanies an active indulgence in casual sex?
It is sad and outright disgusting that rather than promote abstinence for unmarried teens who are still children by the way, some activists are going about telling these children that they are free to use condoms and have safe-sex. Equally horrifying is the offering of ‘services’ like hormonal implants and abortions by certain groups claiming to be protecting the sexual rights of the girl child. These groups pretend not to know that unlike animals human beings are not governed by instincts.
It is the primary responsibility of parents to teach their children sex education, not school teachers who more often than not (from recent happenings in Nigeria) lure the school pupils into sexual promiscuity without realising it, all in the name of sexuality education.
Our stand is that Teachers should strengthen the moral values handed down by parents, not destroy them. It is quite disconcerting to think that teachers are made to teach children (boys and girls) comprehensive sex education in very unrefined ways.
We care about the girl child, not wishing them to be victims of terrible practices and predators. Our message this year is this ‘It’s time to protect the girl child’s right to a bright future.’
Yes! to promoting their God given dignity in the home, at school and in the society.
Chime, a child safety expert wrote in from Enugu.