UNESCO has empowered over five million girls from 10 states on reproductive health, life-saving education and ways to address school related gender-based violence.
Officer-in-Charge, Regional Office Nigeria, Lamine Sow stated this during a media conference and an interactive session with girls from selected schools in the FCT on state of the Nigerian Girls.
According to him, the empowerment was under its “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future” (03) programme, which raises awareness through advocacy and sensitisation to duty bearers, capacity building of teachers and develope resources to address school-related gender-based violence.
“As a result of these interventions, over 5 million adolescent girls and young women have received life-saving education, information.” He said.
“No girl with disabilities, no girl that has a child should be left behind, all of them have to go back to school. We are also seeing the need for girls to have access to information”, UNICEF Gender Adviser, Maria Machicado said, emphasizing that men and boys be part of the conversation on the girl-child.
Resident Representative, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Uller Mueller noted that early marriage and unplanned pregnancies were biggest risks to girl-child education and development in Nigeria and called on the government to provide strong political commitment on adolescent girls.
Director, Basic Education, ministry of education Dr Folake David also called on state governments to domesticate and implement gender policy on education.
On out-of-school girls, 10-year old Dauda Jemima says, “they should be enrolled in school to enable them have a better future in life. Government should also help deploy security in Borno and other states to address insecurity”.
Highlights of the day include poem recitations and panel discussions on the “Nigerian Girl: Her Rights, Her Future”.
Reporting by Azizatu Sani; Editing by Muzha Kucha