7th Anniversary of International Day of Girl Child- By Shamsudeen Muhammad

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Since 2012, 11 October has been marked by the United Nations as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. It’s a day to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. It’s a day when activist groups come together under the same goal to highlight, discuss and take action to advance rights and opportunities for girls everywhere. The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is also overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves.

To commemorate this year International day of the girl child, investing in and empowering girls during adolescence and preventing and eliminating the various forms of violence they experience, we are joining the world to observe and support opportunities for girls and increase awareness of gender inequality faced by our girls in Nigeria.

The aim of this historic day is to support and advocate for young girls to contribute in building an inclusive and equal society for women and girls across the globe.

This day also address issues relating to girls Education, Leadership and Economic Empowerment for rural young women and girls.

It is unfortunate that although we lives in the 21st century girls child are deprived of their right to education and a better life due to the social problem such as street hawking, domestic violence, child labour, sexual harassment, rape and prostitution. Our girls are vulnerable in society, and are faced with lots of challenges which hinders or interfere with their development. It is our duty and responsibilities as citizens to ensure our sisters are safe, provide better education, health and sanitation.

To curve this menace, government should provide quality education to every child. Education should be made accessible to every nook and cranny of the rural areas, free and compulsory to every girl. Government at all levels and NGOs shall continue to create awareness to the parents in rural communities on why they should send their children to school. Education is the birth right of every child therefore all girls child should be send to school.

Finally, I am appealing the stakeholders involved including government, civil societies, teachers, parents and community leaders to champion the campaign and be steadfast to ensure girls are safe in society. We should ensure commitments, that girls are given the opportunity to grow and participate in development.

Shamsudeen Muhammad writes from Bauchi.. shamsudeenm575@gmail.com

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