As Nigeria Joins the rest of the world to celebrate this Year’s Day of the Girl Child, Africa Media Development Foundation, AMDF has urged governments, policy makers and parents to support the girl child to attain her dreams without any hindrance.
The girl child , the NGO says, represents the future of the nation and must be given top priority.
In a message to mark the Day and in solidarity with the girl child, AMDF acknowledges the efforts at different quarters to ensure that girls attain the quality of life needed to contribute to national development.
Citing the theme of the Day “Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable”, and in line with its girl education project supported by Rise Up Nigeria, the AMDF calls on the Kaduna State Government to deliver on its pronouncements in providing free education for girls in public Secondary Schools.
The NGO notes that majority of girls have been denied access to a quality life as a result of poverty, socio- cultural norms and gender equality and therefore reaffirms its stance against negative cultural attitudes and practices that do not promote and protect the rights of girls.
The International Girl Child Day is celebrated 11 October every year to increase awareness on issues faced by girls.
Statistics by USAID shows that more than 62 million girls around the world have no access to education, while those between the ages of 5 and 14 spend more than 160 million hours on house hold chores than boys of the same age.
According to the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres “We need to uphold the equal rights, voices and influence of girls in our families, communities and nations. Girls can be powerful agents of change, and nothing should keep them from participating fully in all areas of life”.
Determined to recognize the rights of women and girls as human rights, 25 years ago some 30,000 women and men from nearly 200 countries arrived in Beijing, China for the fourth world conference on women: the conference culminated the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action which is the most Comprehensive Policy Agenda and Empowerment of Women.
Women pressed this agenda forward, leading global movements on issues ranging from sexual and reproductive health among others, resulting in more girls today attending and completing schools, while fewer are getting married or becoming mothers.
Today, these movement and activities have expanded and are being organized by and for adolescent girls, tackling issues like Child Marriage, Education Inequality, Gender–based Violence and Climate Change, among others.