The Director, Centre for Gender, Youth and Child Development, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU), Abia state and the Founder, Hope for Farmers, Women and Girls Initiative (HOFWGI), Prof. Mabel Ifeoma Onwuka has called for more attention to be given towards the girl- child development.
The Professor of Soil Science who disclosed this to newsmen recently in Umuahia, Abia State, decried the wide gap of development existing between girls and their male counterpart.
She explained that more investment on the girl -child would increase the visibility of the female gender in the political space and other spheres; enhance Human Capital Development and improve Nigeria’s economic growth and development among others.
Prof. Onwuka urged government at all levels and stakeholders to seized this year’s event to evaluate efforts put in place to eliminate gender-based challenges that girls faced around the world.
She listed some of the gender-based challenges to include; child marriages, poor learning opportunities, violence against the girl-child, and discrimination, insisting that more efforts should made to eradicate them while policies in favour of the girl-child should be put in place for a better society.
Prof. Onwuka also noted that this year’s day of the Girl-Child themed: “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being” is apt and timely as investment in girls upholds their rights and assures a more equitable and successful future.
In her words: “Education encourages the Girl-child and opens them up to more opportunities in the social space”.
Prof. Onwuka further expressed displeasure over the 2023 survey by UNICEF that stated that 18.5 million children were out of school in Nigeria, with 60 per cent of which were girls.
She called for a collaborative efforts to tackle the menace, adding that the development is not healthy for nation’s posterity.
International Day of the Girl Child is observed on October 11 every year and it focuses on the importance of girls’ education, their rights, and promoting gender equality.
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