Convener of a non-governmental organisation, the Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, Dr. Ama Onyerinma, has said that the empowerment of the girl-child will mitigate her vulnerability in the society.
Onyerinma said this during an event at the Weseley School for the Hearing of Impaired children, in Surulere, Lagos State, on the occasion to commemorate the United Nations International Day for the Girl-child, marked, on October 11, each year.
Onyerinma urged that the society should support and empower young women across the globe, with the theme this year focused on helping girls overcome adversity. With the skills the girl first, if she has a hobby encouraged that hobby.
Onyerinm’s words, “Comprehensive education covering formal, informal and non-formal modes, for the girl-child will prepare her adequately for the challenges of a largely patriarchal society.
“Women across the world have less access to education, technology and resources like the internet and resources like the internet, and so they are falling behind boys in gaining employable skills.
Onyerinma said the society needed to educate the girl-child.
She continued, “The society have to educate the girl child. We need to make sure they have skills that will help them become good mothers and better citizens.
“Our people need to make sure that girls have access to well paid jobs. They need to be educated to know their rights, especially when abused.
“We must mentor them with special skills. We must help them embrace principles of teamwork and collaboration around their hobbies to create skills out of them.
“We want a situation where they know their right because if their rights is violated because they are equipped they can stand up for themselves.
She cited an instance stating If they are abused in work situation they can talk about it without being afraid or caged. All these harassments we need to deal with it.”
Furthermore, she said apart from education, skills mentoring, there is need to mentor the girl-child as they are not being mentored enough.
“If we see a girl that has the drive, the determination they should be mentored, so they can build that skill because if they don’t have skills they don’t have education then they are not going to have the right jobs and without the right jobs they are not going to break out of poverty”, she pointed out.
“The society have to changed that culture and recognised that our girls have value,” she noted.
“Girls have knowledge, they are intelligent they are very strong, we have to change that culture where we don’t put our girls to be labourers and married off at a young age. This made them look unworthy, they are worthy.
“This has to starts with parents, the community and then the government,” she stated.
“Our society has to produce and provide capable teachers that can give the children what they need to developed into powerful female citizens.
‘This would create a better chance. They can’t say everyone who supposed to be a Lawyer, Doctor has to be boys alone but there is a breath of occupation that girls can access
‘We need to expand that accessibility to ensure they have that job.
Also, she called for the opening of sexual offenders registers for perpetrators, as this would go a long way in curbing sexual offences against women and children.
She explained that early marriage, sexual abuse and other violence act against the girl-child denies her the opportunity to live purposeful life.
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Onyerinma implored government to be fully committed to eliminating the hurdles and societal drawbacks hindering the full participation of the girl-child and women in general, in the nation.”Every child deserves to reach his or her full potential, but gender inequalities in their lives and in the lives of those who care for them hinder this reality”, she noted.
In the same vein wife of the Executive Governor of Lagos State Mrs Bolanle Ambode assured partipant at the event that Lagos state government is fully committed to the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act with emphasis on gender equality in primary and secondary school enrolment as well as the building of more schools.
“One of our priorities in the education sector is to build world-class technical schools that can train our boys and girls who will be employers of labour.
The First Lady stated that the girl-child need to be protected from societal evils.
She said Lagos State has been in the frontline fighting against their abuse, advocating and ensuring that the right of children in the state are protected.
Mrs. Ambode encouraged other states to emulate Lagos state, saying it is the first to enact the child right laws.
She further stated that the state also has laws in place against Domestic Violence, and the protection of women and the girl child. She lauded the organisation for its passionate effort at sensitizing the society on issues of women and children.
A representative of the Commissioner of Police, DCP Longe presented a paper on “The various rights of Parents and Kids.
He stated the various rights they have under the laws of the country.
Another facilitator at the event,the Managing Director of SYNLAB, Dr. Pamela Jackson-Ajayi also presented a paper on Cancer and how to combat the dreaded disease.
Other speakers include representatives from the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).