They are the smiling faces that peddle wares while their mates are in the classrooms. They are the victims of sexual violence and rape you read about in the papers. They are the bodies that birth the future. They are the trail-blazers in decision making positions. They are more than the weaker sex. They are women who were once girls.
This October 11, the world celebrates the International Day of the Girl Child. A day that recognizes the right of girls, the unique challenges facing them in actualizing their dreams and to promote their empowerment to fulfill their human rights and compete favorably with their male counterparts.
It is a fact that 43 percent of Nigerian girls are married off before they are 18 years? These girls become women even before they have been given the chance to be girls. What if they had been allowed to go to school to the level they wanted and make decisions for their own lives?
What if the decisions they make would bring a turning point to their families and the world as a whole? A lot of what ifs…
Education is the basic right of every human being irrespective of gender. But sadly, research has shown that Nigeria holds the global record of the highest number of children out of school with a huge number of 10.5 million children most of which are girls.
According to statistics from UNESCO, improvement in girls’ education saved 2.1 million girls under the age of five between 1990 and 2009. This shows that education is crucial in equipping the girl child with the needed knowledge and power to become all that she can be.
As a parent, education is a worthy investment that you can make in the life of your girl child to prepare her socially, morally and politically for the future no matter what it takes for her to get there.
Every additional year of schooling for the average girl child increases her earning potential giving credence to the saying that empowered girls are a sure way to breaking the cycle of poverty for families in Nigeria and all over the world.
Join us on this week’s episode of ARM Life Living Benefits show as we look at issues that affect the girl child and how to deal with them. There is a gift voucher to be won at the end of the show. Look forward to it!