The Girl Child has continued to become the centre of topical discussion year in year out, and the purpose of these discussions is to give the girl child, equal representation as the male child.
This is also why on the 1Ith of October every year, the girl child is being celebrated all over the world.
A girl child according to the United Nations is a female Child under the age of 18years. And according to the Organization, every year, over 12 million girls under the age of 18 years become victims of Child marriage and over 130 million girls are out of school worldwide.
Females generally have been living in a gender-biased society where there are certain norms that guide how to behave, what to trade to learn, what job to do and even how to live generally.
The gender has been sidelined for so long that recently, the fight for a gender equity has been clamored for.
The girl child has been exposed to a lot of gender based violence such as child abuse in more forms than that of the male child.
According to a report by the United Nations, 1 out of every 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence at one point in their lives, and with the covid-19 pandemic tattoo is raven the world at the moment, these cases have been intensified.
In Nigeria one key factor that has made the issue of general based violence in Nigeria rampant is poverty. Children from poor home miss out on many opportunities to become Educated and live a better life. Out of these children, the girl child is more likely to suffer most of the consequences. In so many homes, this is where child marriage comes in.
According to Unicef, Nigeria has the largest number of child brides in Africa because the Country has about 23 million girls and women who had fallen victim of child marriage.
The Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) and the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change in 2019 organized a “Scoping Workshop on Girls’ Mentorship Project’ as part of activities to improve on the lives of the girl child and their future.
The aim of the workshop was to find solutions to several problems facing the girl child and also help the girl child explore their potentials to the fullest.
The Nigeria Government have also been making moves to end these gender based violence against the girl child.
In 2016, Nigeria launched the Africa Union Campaign to end child early and forced marriage by 2030.
This year’s Theme of the International Day of the Girl child is ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’ which was coined to advocate the freedom of the girl child from becoming victims of child abuse,child molestation, rape, and HIV and AIDS.
This year, there will also be advocacy for the girl child to learn new skills regardless of Stereotypes behind such skill, and also live as a confident Gender in the society.
The fight against Gender equity is a fight for everyone, regardless of our gender. Every Child matters, every Child must be given the right to Education, every child must be free to pursue his/her dream, every child must be cared for and be appreciated because children are the future leaders of tomorrow.
Written by: Hameedah Oladimeji-Kolawole
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