12th October, 2019
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister of State, Ramatu Tijanni, on Friday in Abuja stressed the need to educate the girl-child toward identifying her potential dangers, sexual predators and need for help during distress.
She made the call at the 2019 International Day of the Girl Child with the theme“Girl Force: Unscripted and unstoppable, empowering girls for a brighter tomorrow”.
International Day of the Girl-Child is an annual event declared by the UN and celebrated on Oct. 11 to promote girl’s
empowerment and highlight their challenges.
According to her, the ability of the girl-child to identify the dangers and potential sexual predators will aid in reducing their vulnerability and expose the culprits.
She urged religious and community leaders to play vital roles in educating children, especially the girls
to enable them to perform well in the society like their counterparts in other nations.
She said “religious leaders should not only focus on building them spiritually, but also build them
educationally to empower them in the society.”
The minister listed challenges faced by the girl child in the society to include being victims of physical
and sexual abuse, human trafficking, child labour and denial to rights of inheritance.
She, therefore, called for total reorientation on the values of the girl-child, especially in education and skills acquisition, which she said would aid in empowering them and enabling them to succeed in their endeavours.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, while briefing newsmen on the celebration, said 24 states had signed the Child Rights Act (2003) and urged the remaining 12 states to do same for the benefit of the girls and the nation at large.
She said “the benefits would lead to poverty reduction, better health outcomes, economic growth, reduced rates of child mortality and malnutrition.
“It would also help girls to achieve her potential.”
Tallen also disclosed that the ministry had inaugurated a technical working group for implementation of the Child Rights Act, Menstural Health and Hygiene Management, and ending child marriage.
She, therefore encouraged parents, stakeholders to value the girl child to enable them to access quality education and protect them from all forms of abuse and molestation.