12th March, 2012
Lagos State joined the rest of the world at the weekend to mark the 2012 International Women’s Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to celebrate the achievements of women and to also bring to fore the challenges facing the female folk in the society.
This year’s celebration, with the theme: Connecting the Girls, Inspiring Future, was marked with a motivational talk for young girls of school age and speakers were on hand to share experiences on different developmental issues that confront the girl child in Lagos and Nigeria, and proffering suggestions on how the girls can overcome these challenges and fulfil their life desires.
The event held at The Grandeur, Oregun, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria was attended by the wife of the governor, Abimbola Fashola, the Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council, women in business, market women and hundreds of students from various secondary schools in the state as well as youths from all the local governments in the state.
The Deputy Governor in her keynote address admonished the young girls not to put themselves forward for any form of intimidation or abuse, noting that it was only when they take pride in themselves that the larger society would take pride in them.
Adefulire said the state government was not unaware of the challenges facing the children in the state, especially the recent rampant cases of abuse and molestation, while noting that the government was keen to stamp out all forms of abuse in the state.
She enjoined the children to assist the government by ensuring that they did not indulge in activities that would endanger them or jeopardize their future and also report any form of abuse from anybody around them.
The deputy governor added that the government had recently commenced another round of sensitization on the zero-tolerance of the government on any form of abuse on any child in the state, saying that the full weight of the law as enshrined in the Child Rights Act would come to bear on any offender.
Also commenting on the issue, Mrs. Fashola said the celebration of women on the day provides an avenue not to only eulogise women achievers but also to inspire young girls who would become women in the future. She said young girls must not only aspire to become responsible women and mothers in the future but should also keep watch over each other and shun all bad habits that would hinder their progress or stop them from achieving their full potentials.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, WAPA, Mrs. Risikat Akiyode, said the surest means to inspire girls’ future was through massive investment in girl’s education and increase in female school enrolment.