A forum of stakeholders in the education sector on Friday advocated for the promotion and protection of the rights of girl child against gender discrimination.
The stakeholders made the call at a programme organised by the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All (CSACEFA) in conjunction with the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) in Ilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the event was organised to commemorate the 2019 International Day of the girl child.
The guest speaker of the occasion, Mrs Fasilat Balogun blamed the society for encouraging gender discrimination, saying empowerment of girl child was never an option for a modern society.
Balogun, who spoke on the theme: “Empowering of Girls for a Brighter Tomorrow”, explained that it was a responsibility and a priority of every stakeholder to empower the girl child.
“Society says girls are not inferior to boys, but what are they getting from the society?
“The undeniable truth though is that a lot of girls never get what they deserve.
“Gender bias, cultural malpractice, human trafficking, child marriage, poor health and sanitation are some of the numerous problems that continue to cause troubles for girls.
“It is apt to say that every girl child is entitled to enjoy the best attainable state of physical, mental and spiritual health,” she said.
Balogun, a legal practitioner, asserted that to empower girl child, inequality and gender gap would need to be reduced, thereby paving the way for the emergence of strong women in very nearest future.
According to her, empowering of a girl child means empowerment in all aspect of their identity, therefore, it is important to arm them with rights and privildges.
She urged stakeholders to provide counseling support for girl child and the hope they needed to provide a ticket for a better life.
The guest speaker also urged them to give voice to those girls that had long be ignored.
Mrs Salamat Jimoh, a Deputy Director in the state Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, stressed the need for girls to be empowered in skills acquisition towards ensuring a better tomorrow.
Jimoh, who represented the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Hajiya Aminat Garba said that the state government would do everything possible to protect the rights of girls.
NAN reports that other stakeholders such as the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), traditional and religious leaders corroborated the stance of the guest speaker.
Earlier in his address, the coordinator of CSACEFA in Kwara, Hajiya Nimat Labaika said that the partnership with the FOMWAN was to ensure a world free of discriminations against the girl child.
Labaika noted that inequality about girl child was a vast problem which included many areas like in education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection, honour and child marriage among others.
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The coordinator described girl child as an asset needed to be empowered to become a role model and make positive impact in the society.
In her remark, Hajiya Memunat Shehu, the state Amira of FOMWAN said that the partnership for campaign against gender discrimination was in line with the principles of the federation.
According to her, if girls are empowered, they would become good women for better society.