By Ebi Kesiena
In commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child, stakeholders have been urged to deliberately protect the right of the girl child and invest in the total well-being of the female gender.
Executive Director, Sustainable Gender Action Initiative, Abuja, Mufuliat Fijabi stated that the society must begin to priorities protection from sexual and gender-based violence and education for the girl child.
According to Fijabi, no nation can make any meaningful progress without protecting the rights of the girl child
‘‘Today 11 October marks another significant day, globally, on the Girl Child. This is another call to action to uphold and protect the rights of the girl child. Investing in their well-being, growth and development is a strategic value to the leadership and well-being of the world’’ she said
While lamenting on the United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF), statistics have it that almost one quarter of girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide (almost 70 million) report being victims of some form of physical violence, Fijabi noted that no one can be nurtured in violence, including sexual violence.
‘‘Our girls must be free from violence’’.
She maintained that girls’ education strengthens economies and reduces inequality.
‘‘Investment in the education of the girl child will lead to a transformed Nigeria and a world where girls are less likely to marry early or be forced into early marriages and are more likely to live productive lives, earn higher wages, engage in meaningful decision making processes, participate in building stronger families with resilient nations with positive impacts on the lives of all including boys and men.
‘‘Therefore, Sustainable Gender Action Initiative, (SGAI) is using this medium to call on all state and non-state actors to use the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child to review their commitments and reignite action on ensuring the education of the girl child through meaningful investment and committed targets that can change the narrative on girls’ education, empowerment, and protection.’’