By Alogoakho M Kuju,
The Girl’s Brigade of Nigeria (GBN), Nasarawa State chapter has, as part of activities to mark the International Day for the Girl Child, visited the ERCC Secondary School, Azuba Bashayi Lafia.
The event which is celebrated precisely on 11th October of every year, attracted personalities including educationists and leaders of the Girls Brigade in the State.
As part of the activities to mark the day, items such as pads and writing materials were donated and about 60 female students of the school benefited from the gesture.
Earlier, the State Commander, Girl’s Brigade Nigeria, Mrs. Tabitha Agabi explained the significance of the event.
She revealed that they were there to enlighten and empower the girl child educationally, physically and morally to know her right in order to avoid molestation by criminal elements in the society.
She said: “Our duty is to ensure that Girls are empowered for nation building. The celebration today is worldwide. The girl child should be given opportunity to do so many things that will help them develop themselves.
“One of the ways through which we will empower them is to teach them handwork. The economic situation in our nation today is something different.
“So if a girl child is being educated right from childhood to adolescent stage she can transfer the knowledge to her husband house. And the lady may not depend solely on her husband for upkeep.
“Now we have visited a school. We want them to be determined in their studies so that they will be something tomorrow in the society.”
The guest speaker, Mrs. Chris Fajemi enumerated some of the challenges a girl child has been encountering in the society. Amongst the challenges is the rate of sex-related crimes against girls in the society.
She stated that majority of the girls being molested in the society are being molested by close relations.
According to the guest speaker, the molesters could be uncles, cousins and even fathers.
Speaking on the theme ‘Empowering Girls for A Brighter Tomorrow’, she said, “One out of nine girls is molested every 93 seconds. And also, one out of every fifty-three boys are molested also in 93 seconds.”
Mrs. Chris Fajemi also stated that effect of molestation on the girl child can be long lasting while also encouraging the girls to report any case of molestation to their parents or guardians.
Also marking the International Day for the Girl Child, a coalition of women groups in Nasarawa State have advocated the establishment of a special scholarship scheme for the promotion of education of indigent girl child across the country.
They made the call during an advocacy rally in Lafia.
The women groups consisting of Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria, FOMWAN and National Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ had a procession from Abacha Youth Centre to the State Government House along Lafia-Shendam road to raise awareness on the need to pay maximum attention to the education of the girl child in the state.
Former Secretary to Nasarawa State Government and Assistant Zonal Coordinator of FOMWAN in charge of Nasarawa and Niger States as well as the FCT, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed stressed the need for a paradigm shift towards investing in the girl child considering their rich potentials.
Leader of FOMWAN in Nasarawa state, Hajiya Rakiya Jibril pointed out that education of the girl child should not be seen as an option but a priority.
Nasarawa State Chairperson, National Association of Women Journalists, Comrade Hadiza Umar decried the high rate of out of school children, especially the girl child in the state.
Addressing the women, wife of the Nasarawa State Governor, Hajiya Silifat Abdullahi Sule called for stronger collaboration between government and civil society groups to promote the education of the girl child.