Some women in Ilorin on Wednesday called for an end to discrimination against girls, as the world commemorates the 2017 International Women’s Day (IWD).
Some of the women told journalists in separate interviews that the time had come for the girl child to receive due recognition as her male counterpart.
A business woman, Mrs Janet Adekeye, said it was unfortunate that the Nigerian society had not deemed it necessary to ensure gender equality.
“Discrimination against girl child is not what we should still be debating in this age because the world has gone past this.
“Women are doing great things throughout the world now, but if our girls have been given out in marriage at a tender age, how do they achieve this?
“We should stop the normal cliché that a woman’s education ends in the kitchen, now, a woman’s education helps more in the kitchen,” she said.
A civil servant, Mrs Aisha Ajala, said in spite of the public outcry against the evils of child marriage, some parents were adamant on perpetuating the practice in certain parts of the country.
“I saw on the internet last week that somewhere in Borno state, a girl of around 11 to 12 years was given out in marriage and it was even a big wedding.
“The person that posted it online said the groom is his uncle’s son, so I have just been wondering what the girl will be going through because she was not looking happy.
“So, it will be good if the government use the celebration of this day to stop child marriage by all means and punish offenders to serve as deterrent to others,” Ajala said.
A teacher, Mrs Taiwo Tanimola, said feminism was an issue that should be discussed and even celebrated, but added that matters of gender were never on the front burner.
“The contributionsof the female gender cannot be over-emphasised, so the girl child that will grow to be a woman should be well nurtured.
“But it is a pity that some fathers still insist that they cannot educate a girl as she will become another man’s property, not knowing that they are gradually spoiling their own future.
“A girl that has been exposed to motherly duty at a tender age when she also needs a mother’s affection cannot be useful to herself nor the society.
“So, it is better if we change our mindset for our female children to attain a reputable position in life,” she said.
Newsmen report that the IWD is celebrated on March 8 annually throughout the world to promote the cause of women.