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Experts call for more empowerment of the girl-child

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In joining the rest of the world to celebrate the 2018 international Day of the Girl-Child, experts have called for more empowerment of the Nigerian girl-child through education to enable them contribute their quota to economic growth and development.

The call was made at a programme organised by Hacey in partnership with Access Bank Plc to commemorate the day.

“The key to girls’ empowerment is ensuring there is access to quality and continuous education and the end of violence and discrimination against them,” said Rhoda Robinson, director, Gender Development Program, HACEY at the event.

Robinson explained that the major challenge of a Nigerian girl-child was access to quality education and gender inequality in Nigeria.

While stating other societal issues that are detrimental to the girl-child, she urged parents and guardians to stop the harmful practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

She noted that Hacey’s mission to promote health and empowerment necessitated the decision to choose to mark the day to align with the Sustainable Development Goals stated by the United Nations.

Adepeju Jaiyeoba, founder of Mothers’ Delivery Kit, who also spoke at the event, called on government and corporate organisations to review the gender ratio of employment to give room for more females to make better contributions in all sectors of the economy.

“There should be a source of inspiration for females to want to do more. Look at the difference in government; women are behind, even in private organisations. You see people who still believe a woman should not head in government or organisation.”

She, however, expressed the optimism that “things are getting better than what they used to be before. More women are challenging in the private sector. But, I believe it will improve if the set of women doing Nigeria proud do not give up.”

The representative of John Hopkins University Centre for Communication programme, Edun Omasanjuwa said the significance of the day was to “task ourselves that female children have a lot to give back to the society.”

The programme was held at the premises of Queens College and had in attendance female students from various schools in Lagos and panellists of top women speaking to the young girls.

Josephine Okojie

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