Our Beloved Girl-Child Global Foundation, an NGO, has called on the Federal Government to give adequate attention to female education “to build a greater society and to promote gender equality.”
The President and founder of the foundation, Dr Lilian Obenwa, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday to commemorate the International Day of the Girl-Child.
Celebrated annually on Oct. 11, the International Day of the Girl Child is to recognise girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
Obenwa said that youths, especially women and girls, should have a major role to play in governance to restore their pride and dignity and encourage societal norms and values for nation building and development.
She added that the foundation had been empowering and promoting female education and providing educational support to young people through its female students scholarship scheme and skills campaigns.
She noted that “when one girl is educated, a whole community is strengthened, because educated girls delay marriage, have fewer children, earn a higher income and contribute to the community.
“When girls gain skills, knowledge and confidence, they break the cycle of poverty and rise up strong, so that their families and communities will strive.
“There is need for government to prioritise girl-child education through consistent and articulated plan captured in the annual budget.
“Girl-child education is very important, but it can’t be addressed without checking the poverty level in the country,” she said.
According to her, proper upbringing of the girl-child is important, as it predicts how she performs in her academic pursuit and psycho-social development.
She also stressed the need to equip parents with the knowledge and skills needed to take on the responsibility of parenting in the 21st century.
“It is no longer a trend when we flog, detain or expel a child from school for misbehaving; rather, we persuade and make them understand.
“Everyone has a role to play in the society, including the security agencies, churches, mosques and traditional rulers.”
She advised parents who leave their children in the hands of care-givers to strike a balance by giving adequate attention to knowing them better.
She noted that children who were not properly informed were at greater risk of being molested, engaged in risky behaviours and experimenting with drugs.