Int’l Girl Child Day: Liberation of girl child will emancipate the world, says Imo NAWOJ Boss
The Chairman, Nigeria Association of women journalists (NAWOJ), Imo State Chapter, Dr (Mrs)Dorothy Nnaji says the world would remain in darkness of ignorance until the female gender is liberated from the claws and shackles of stagnation.
Dr. Nnaji who described girls as leaders, changemakers and agents of growth in the world, stressed that the latter were fundamental in the strive to activate gender equality.
Presenting her address at Rock View Hotel, Owerri, Imo State capital, on the occasion of the 2021 International Day Of The Girl Child, with the theme: “Digital Generation, Our Generation”, NAWOJ Boss described the girl-child as “the woman of today, mother of tomorrow and grandmother of the future.
“The girl-child is a treasure and more than a precious gem. She is the reflection of the beauty of creation and the incubator of the future world”, she said.
The address read in part:
“The girl-child is a biological female offspring from birth to eighteen years of age that is defined by anatomical and physiological characteristics that set her apart from her male counterparts.
On the development of the girl-child, she said:
“In the very past, during the period our people were predominantly illiterates, there used to be a wrong perception that women do not necessarily need education since any training done to them ends with their getting married away to another family. It was during that time that it was said that “
Women’s Education ends in Kitchen “. That is not only a fallacy of perversion of reality but a jaundiced perception that stagnated generations of the past. The world remains in darkness of ignorance until female gender is liberated from the claws and shackles of stagnation.
“Girls are leaders, Changemakers, agents of growth in the world. Girls are fundamental in the strive to activate gender equality.
“October 11 is earmarked as an important day United Nations, women joined under United Nations agencies, Civil Society Organisations and girls all over the world congregate to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child. The Theme is ” Digital Generation, Our Generation”
“The theme captures a fact that the 21st century is an age of Technology, Digital age and innovation and the girl-child is not counted out. It shows that the education of the Girl-child has to take into consideration the contemporary age in order to evolve full integrative Development.
To be relevant within the digital age, government needs to provide enabling facilities such as ICT centres in localities, power supply and data for access to global information.
It therefore follows that every form of Development of the girl-child must be premised on proper education and enlightenment, and that is the connector to developed society. I therefore call for further abrogation of all inhibiting factors militating against proper education of the girl child. This is the foundation of fight against poverty, squalor and dehumanisation of humanity. Must we escape from global index of poverty, girl-child must be the centre of concern.
Call for Academic Attainment
Women have been known to be very productive and that also extends to the sphere of education. It is only through education that the full potentials of a person or a people are attained. On a day like this, I call on the girl child to rise to embrace education, attain academic heights and escape from the shadows of subjugation. Youth survey report presented by NBS states that young women in Nigeria are half likely to pursue a career in computer Science and related fields as much as men. But this is more of induced from cultural perceptions limiting the Development of the Girl-child far more than evidenced in the capacity of the Girl-child. This year’s theme” Digital generation our generation ” , fuels on technology otherwise known as digital literacy . There’s need for attention to be paid to digital rights, education to enhance the knowledge of digital rights for the girl-child. The attention of stakeholders in education sector should be drawn to digital reality of the day , to maximse it for the benefit and safety of our girl child. It will also encourage our girl child to venture into digital literacy,. The government needs to create a trust fund for the girl child technological development that would entice them into digital literacy and such could spur the right attraction and passion for digital creativity for the girl-child.
You can be medical doctors, engineers, media experts, ICT experts, Robotic engineers, pilots, political gladiators, architects, lawyers, and all manners of Professionals. As a female, your potentials are not limited but instead vast options abound. Do well to choose right and make your future enviable. Never yield to perverted thinking that ruled in the past.
Incidentally, statistics has it that girl-child makes up the population of 1.1 billion out of the 7.8 billion world population. It shows a potent pool of future leaders and actors who could be entrepreneurs and change makers that will affect the world. It also means that the future of the world both in training, exploration and conduct lies in your hands.
Health of the Girl-child
On a day like this, we cannot but talk about the health of the Girl-child as a critical factor of population health.
The need to observe proper hygiene is imperative and as a girl-child, you should observe hygiene. This includes in areas of cleanliness, menstural hygiene, environmental sensitivity, etc. The girl-child is known for enforcing cleanliness and promoting cleanliness everywhere she finds herself.
Culture and Tradition
Good knowledge of culture is important for the overall development of the Girl-child. This is part of what needs to be done but it’s not every cultural practices that need to be imbibed. There are obnoxious cultural practices that need to be jettisoned and for the developmental cultural imperatives, the girl-child needs to learn and imbibe the practices. It is however through sound education that you will be able to decipher right from wrong cultural practices. I call you to become more sensitive to culture in order to achieve best human development index.
Issues such as Female genital Mutilation (FGM), Obnoxious practices against women, Violence against the Girl-child and women, and all forms of discrimination against women and female gender, etc., the Girl-child should be enlightened enough to stand up against such Obnoxious actions. We advise the empowerment of the Girl-child both knowledge-wise and economic-wise to enable her stand to liberate womanhood from mental subjugation and imprisonment of the mind.
In addition to Professional training and academic heights, acquisition of skills and Development of entrepreneurship skills is key for the emancipation of the Girl-child.
Concluding for The Girl-child
Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) is at the forefront of promoting the rights of the Girl-child and as such we call on all stakeholders including the government, Development partners, agencies and well-meaning members of the society to promote the rights of the Girl-child. We call on traditional rulers and institutions to consider promoting the rights of the Girl-child and to see to the abrogation of such practices that undermine the integrity and rights of the Girl-child, female gender and womanhood including Obnoxious cultural practices.
Special Note to NAWOJ
I wish to specially thank the organising committee for a job well done. You have shown capacity through commitment to a good course. Your good works standout and are commendable, Weldon.
And to all members of NAWOJ, I urge you to rededicate yourself to the service of our great association. There is need for more work to foster growth and development of NAWOJ, let all hands be on deck.
To all our guests, associates and friends, our joy knows no bounds as you identify with us on this auspicious day. We appreciate and say thank you. Please sit back and enjoy the day with us. A candle’s light dies not diminish by lighting another candle…but helps to dispel thick darkness”,she concluded.
Contributing, the Managing Editor and Chapel Chairman of Starpost Express Newspaper Golden Lady (Amb.) Chika Uju charged girl child to imbibe the spirit of the fear of God, adding, “and be Ambassador of Imo NAWOJ”.
Amb. Uju who was the Chairman, planning committee expressed heart felt gratitude to the guests for their support and presence at the event.
Highlights of the event were customised exercise book presentation to the girls students, dancing competition among students and teachers of five different Girls’ schools represented and presentation of Excellence Awards to some illustrious daughters of Imo State.