In celebration of the 6th year anniversary of the international day of girl child which was initiated by the United Nation, Access bank, together with Hacey health initiative and some other educational sector organised the largest conference at the Queens College Hall, Yaba, Lagos, addressing issues affecting the girl child and providing a platform through which girls can make their voices heard with the theme: With her: *A skilled Girl force* .
Following the often said quote ” when you educate a man, you educate one person, but when you educate a woman, you educate a nation” the initiative seek to Highlight and address the needs and challenges faced by girl child, Promote the rights and empowerment of girls and to build capacity of young girls on advocating for equal rights between boys and girls. It also Provide a platform through which girls can make their voices heard and have access to opportunities in the global community.
The event which came up on the 11th day of October involved teenage students from secondary schools across Lagos state, out of school adolescents, youths from Non-governmental organizations, corporate organizations, Academia, state representatives, Diplomatic Missions, Celebrities and Influencers.”
Speaking with the Head of sustainability of Access Bank, Omobolanle Victor – Laniyan, she explained that the girl child grows to become a woman and as you empower the woman, you empower the community. She went further that it is important that we begin to give attention to the feminist segment of society right from when they are very young and that’s one of the main reason why we commemorate the international day of the girl child.
“Today we have adolescents in the hall from many institution across board and this day is to ensure that we are not missing out because the school already have established a structure which made it is easier in terms of strategy to ensure that there’s is continuity as well as follow up and some level of extra attention given to a girl child.”
According to the Director, Gender Development Program, HACEY, Ms. Rhoda Robinson, HACEY is a development organization that improves the health,empowerment and rights of a girl child in Africa and the conference brings together onboard not less than 2000 adolescents, civil society leaders, corporate partners, government agencies and diplomatic missions to address issues affecting the development of girls, adding that, the key to girls’ empowerment is to enable access to quality and continuous education, end violence & discrimination against women and girls with a special focus on harmful practices such as FGM.
She also added that the day focus more on the health, empowerment and rights of every girl child. Stating the fact that every girl should have the right to be free from violence, have rights to quality education, sexual reproductive healthcare as well and should not be subjected to sexual violence and harassment. She further explained that girls are important part of the society and they should be valued as such. There should be no restriction in their choice of career.
“at HACEY, we are committed to championing solutions and building partnerships from grassroots to highest policy level to play a pivotal role in achieving the Sustainable Developmental Goals. We have a mission to promote the health, empowerment, and rights of the women and girls in Nigeria.” “Our initiative has created so many platforms such as ” Mysalvus” which gives an opportunity to every girl child who is a Survial of sextual violence to have immediate and safe access to support service such as medial attention, police intervention e.t.c and we will continue to advocate for policies that will provide the right of a girl child in our society.
Nigerian actress and film producer, Ngozi Nwosu, who also grace the occasion educates the girls on personal hygiene, and advised that they should know their rights and always speak to their parent or anyone who is capable of helping them whenever they discover anything shady to them.
She also talked about the female genital mutilation which is still happening in some rural settlement today and advised that they should be educated more on this considering the repercussion that comes with it.
Nigerian Urban themth initiative Dr. Omasanjuwa Edun also said that the day is basically to celebrate every girl child and to bring the world back to their consciousness that girl child needs to be taken care of because they have a lot to give back to the society if given an equal rights as their Male counterpart. He also lay emphasis on Women in the arms of affairs, in businesses, in politics and that is the reflection of the opportunity given to them years back. He then adviced the girl child to take up the stage which has been already set for them.
Report by NixxHash Staff – Adekola Adenike