The girl child is special and highly valued in various ways across cultures in Nigeria with some positive values. But lately, the girl child is fast becoming an endangered species. Many are out of school and living in IDP camps or host communities. Out of the children who are out of school, 70% are girls.
Girls of menstruation age have no access to sanitary pads, water or detergents. Social safety nets are a far cry.
On this special day that we mark the International Day of the Girl Child, I call on the Nigerian government, religious and cultural leaders, as well as individuals, to think about the future of this country reflectively and assess how much we have lost and how less developed we are as a country because we have failed to factor in the girl child. I urge them to plan and implement programs that would enhance the overall development of the girl child.
I wish our government could plan for the education of the girl child, her protection, her safety from kidnapping and ritual killings, from rape and all sorts of discrimination that have further widened gender gaps.
I wish every girl child and every woman who was once a girl a happy and hopeful International Day of the Girl Child from Adinya Arise Foundation (AAF).