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'Domestic violence; sexual and psychological abuses must stop as world celebrates girl-child 2020'

For a better tomorrow, government has been called to protect vulnerable girl-child in Nigeria as the world international girl child 2020 holds.

This was contained in a statement signed  by Mrs. Olufunso Owasanoye, the Executive Director, HDI Nigeria, which reads in part, “Every October 11 is celebrated all over the world as International Day of the Girl Child, to amplify the voices and rights of girls everywhere. The theme for this year, “My voice, our equal future”, re imagines a better world inspired and led by adolescent girls, as part of the global Generation Equality Movement. Girls worldwide and especially Nigeria are demanding a life free from gender-based violence, access to health,free, quality and inclusive education, skills, recognition, and investment as leaders of social change.

“Human Development Initiatives a not for profit and non-governmental organisation with the goal of strengthening vulnerable in the society, in particular HDI envisions a society of humans devoid of social and economic vulnerabilities. HDI also provides psycho social services to ensure safe space for adolescents and other marginalised children suffering from domestic violence; sexual and psychological abuses and deprivations through her in/out-school outreach programmes; annual leadership programme; child help line services; campaigns and intense advocacy for free, quality, equitable and inclusive education for all children especially girls and children with disabilities. This year International Day for the girl child, HDI Nigeria is adding her voice to address issues that denies the girl child their rights to life, education, health and social development participation.

“In Nigeria according to according to Original Research Article Journal the national literacy rate for females is only 48%, compared to 73% for males, with certain states having even lower rates of female literacy, enrolment, and academic achievement. There are various factors contributing to low literacy rate of the girl child such as culture, religion barriers, poverty, low political will, corruption, and poor funding of the education sector. A research titled Trends and Patterns of Sexual Assault in Lagos, South West Nigeria, explained that only 2 of 40 cases of sexual abuse experienced by girls are reported as a result of arduous legal requirements, inadequate sensitisation and societal stigma faced by the victims.

“Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during their critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world if given a voice and equal opportunity for a better Nigeria. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which girls are given the same opportunity in every societal spheres.

As adolescent girls worldwide assert their power as change-makers, International Day of the Girl 2020 will focus on our demands that opportunities be given to girl child to express herself freely, be involved in decision that concerns her future, have same opportunities as boys.

1.    Government should strengthen existing institutions to protect every girl child from any form of gender-based violence.

2.    Government should make public education system more responsive to all children especially the girl-child.

3.    State Governments should implement the child rights policy to protect the rights of every girl child.

4.    Government and parents should provide opportunity for the girl child to learn new skills that will help them achieve their dreams.

5.    Provision of more child-helpline centres that can provide psycho social counselling services for the girl child.

6.    Government should eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls.

7.    Government should provide free and accessible health and nutrition to all vulnerable girls.

8.    Government should eliminate the economic exploitation of child labour.

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Content created and supplied by: AderounmuKazeem (via Opera News )

Generation Equality Movement HDI Nigeria International Day of the Girl Child Nigeria Olufunso Owasanoye

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