Int’l Day of Girl Child: Ogun gov, stakeholders advocate gender equality, empowerment

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In commemoration of the international day of the girl child Sunday, the Ogun state Government, through the office of the Special Assistant to the governor on students matters, stakeholders in the education and health sector have advocated for gender equality and empowerment of the girl child across the country.

The Stakeholders who spoke at the year 2020 event with the theme “My voice: Our equal future” held at Abeokuta, also called on parents to protect their children from all forms of violence and abuses.

The Ogun state Governor, represented by the Special Assistant on students matters, Comrade Azeez Adeyemi, said his administration is committed to developing the state through the expression and exploration of girls’ potential, noting that his government will equip them as key role players in the development process.

He said that the international day of the girl has risen far above the bars to become a global call, saying that it is a call to challenge the status quo on the second choice values placed on girls.

The governor also called on the stakeholders in educational sector to help pilot the affairs of the sector towards attaining greater feats.

”It  is no more news that we have recorded series of cases of rape , sexual harassment and other social vices as well. We will take advantage of this day sets aside by the United Nations to mark International girl child day to campaign against social vices as well  as to sensitize our students and assist them in some areas of needful”

“I hope our young girls in the state would have been prepared and oriented on the challenges of societal harassments and abuse viz a viz ways of combating the challenges,” he said.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo observed that, the challenges confronted by every girl child was associated with the derailed norms and value of the cultural system.

Soyombo who sought for supports and more opportunities for girls, called for increased awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide.

“The way you talk determine the way people reciprocate. Let us learn how to talk and dress well. We have lots of integrity. The Nigerian girls of those days won’t dress inappropriately to attract any form of abuses.

“But girls of today have thrown decency into the wind. As government, we will try to look into how our curriculum can be reviewed on how our girls can take up interest in technical education, technical drawing.”

In her presentation titled, “A Case for Resonant Voice of the Girl Child for our sustainable and Equal Future”, the founder, Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation, Engr. Funmilayo Waheed-Adekojo noted that, the girl child is endowed with unique qualities which can be explored through training.

Mrs. Adekojo emphasized that, in spite of the inherent potentials of the girl child, she was impaired from showing her worth as the results of preferences for the male child, adding that empowering women contribute to the health and productivity of the family and communities.

She further stressed that, the girl child has capacity of exploits in all aspects of life from the technology, finance and investment, creative industry, education, policy and advocacy space than the male counterparts if given proper training and education.

Calling on parents and government in the full development of the girl child, Mrs. Adekojo suggested the adoption of protection, human rights, providing services, prosecuting offenders, preventing abuse against girl child, promoting access to quality education and empowerment.

Popular Nollywood actress, and President, Passion Against Rape and Abuse in Africa Foundation (PARA), Mrs. Foluke Daramola-Salako noted that, the celebration “reflects the successful emergence of girls and young women as a distinct cohort in development policy, programming, campaigning and research.

She expressed appreciation on the progress made on the advocacy by women groups on the need to protect their folk against any forms of gender-based violence.

“I am happy to note the progress that has been made in the area of activism by girls to protect their gender.

“I want to state that more needs to be done especially to address gender-based violence which seems to be more pronounced recently and all hands must be on deck to achieve this.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Emmanuel Abayomi, a Psychiatrist, who represented the Provost and Medical Director of Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro Abeokuta, Dr. Afeez Agboola said that It is true that rape is on the increase, adding that many factors are responsible.

“Not only psychiatric problem, societal  factors like depression, peer pressure, bad friendship, psychological problems among others are also responsible” he said

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