Empowering the Girl-child for National Growth

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Empowering the Girl-child for National Growth

Over the years, the girl-child has been touted as weak and prone to abuses ranging from rape, child labour, genital mutilation, early marriage, trafficking, using them as baby factories and non admittance into formal education.

Empowering the girl child is a way of reducing the vulnerability of the female gender and dependency in all sphere of life. It is a well known fact that any society that invests in them will definitely experience positive changes.

Every year, millions of girls are reportedly denied basic education globally at a time when it is obvious that the power to transform the world revolves round this segment of the population.

Adolescent girls are also vulnerable to sexual violence such as rape and in some cases abduction.

For example, the case of the chibok girls abducted in 2014 by Boko  Haram terrorists is still fresh in the minds of Nigerians and indeed the International community.

Similarly, early this year, some female students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, were abducted by insurgents. All these factors are capable of discouraging the girl–child from advancing in education.

According to research, adolescent girls in conflict zones are 90 percent more likely to be out of school when compared to girls in conflict- free  countries and in turn compromising their future prospects for work and financial independence as adults.

This necessitated why the United Nations Resolution, made empowerment and investment in the girl-child a key, in breaking the cycle of  discrimination and violence against them.

As a result of youth’s advocacy around the world, the United Nations in 2011, declared October 11 every year, as the International day of the girl-child.

The day is to promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities that exist between girls and boys. It also gives people the opportunity to raise public awareness of the discrimination and abuses that many girls around the world, suffer from.

It is noted that providing the girl-child with basic education has the assurance of giving them greater power and independence with its attendant multiplier effect on the society.

They must also be properly guided and supported during their formative years, as they have the potential to change the world both as empowered girls today as well as skilled workers tomorrow.

The Federal Government and Non Governmental Organizations, NGO’s should intensify the fight against human trafficking, while government at all levels should ensure that perpetrators do not go unpunished.

Parents should not engage in giving preference to their children based on gender, as equal opportunity should be given to both sexes to maximize their potential.

With education and adequate financial empowerment, women and girls could overcome societal prejudices and positively contribute their quota to growing the Nation.

This year’s theme; “empower girls: before and after conflict “is suitable as it is a known fact that when the girl child is empowered everybody benefits.

Remember, when you train a girl- child, you train the Nation as girls who are educated, healthy and independent can transform the society at
large.

Adeyoyin Shomoye.

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