By Omolabake Fasogbon
The recently celebrated International Day of the Girl-child, afforded a non government organisation (NGO), Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative, the opportunity to raise awareness for the cause.
Addressing participants at a sensitisation programme in Lagos to mark the day, founder of the organisation, Dr. Ama Onyerinma, appealed to the Federal Government to mandate the adoption of Child Right Act by the 36 states of the federation.
The NGO stated that since 1989 when the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), only few states, specifically 24 out of 36, have assented to the law.
Onyerinma noted that the girl-child mostly suffer the implications of failure by some states to enact a legislation that ought to protect children under the age of 14.
She stated that the female children are seen to be inferior in this clime, which had caused their rights to be infringed upon.
According to her, 60 per cent of school dropouts in Nigeria are female, adding that this is fuelled by the fact that the society considers them to be lower in status to men.
Speaking on this year’s theme, ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl Force’, Onyerinma emphasised on the need to mentor the girl-child on her talent towards the realisation of her dream.
She said: “The girl-child needs to acquire right education, skills and knowledge to become a great citizen and most especially, to know her rights. A major problem our girls are faced with today is lack of mentorship.
“Adults, including parents, teachers and government, hold the responsibility of mentoring the girl-child to grow in their potentials and skills.”
In her keynote address, wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Bolanle Ambode, sought the collaboration of private and public institutions to advance the cause of the girl-child.
She said: “The girl-child needs assistance in the area of equal access to quality education, general protection from social evils like rape, domestic violence, molestations and other right abuses.”