The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) on Wednesday urged the government at all levels to fast-track implementation of the Child Rights Act (2003).
The Executive Director of the Centre, Mrs Oreoluwa Lesi, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
NAN reports that every Oct. 11 has been set aside by the United Nations as the International Day of the Girl-Child.
Lesi said that the definite age of 18 for marriage should be adhered to by all states in the country, adding that those who went contrary to that were on the wrong side of the extant law.
She argued that if a girl reached the age of puberty, it did not make her ripe for marriage.
Lesi said that as the world was marking the “International Day of the Girl-child”, it was proper to highlight the different issues militating against the growth of girls worldwide and proffer solutions.
She stressed the need for government to create an environment conducive for the girl-child to thrive.
She said that awareness creation on issues of girls and establishing digital clubs in schools would encourage young girls to think of careers in technology as strong possibilities for them.
“Girls face many inequalities ranging from access to education, female genital mutilation, child marriage, etc.
“Each problem or issue has its solution but the general thing is the importance of seeing girls as equal with boys.
“Gone are the days where girls are relegated to doing domestic chores, leaving boys to go to school and have a career,” she said.
Lesi added that since cultures change, it should not be used as excuse to continue with some bad practices such as the female genital mutilation which should be done away with.
“Since the culture of killing of twins in the olden days had stopped, that of genital mutilation should also stop,” she said.
On the theme of the day, ”Power of the Adolescent: Vision for 2030”, she said it was at the adolescent age that a girl would see herself as different.
“When the girls grow older, they now look up to the society for guidance, and as they see mostly boys becoming doctors or IT experts, they tend to believe that it is the norm.
“At that age, they realise the gender inequality, and it will now affect the way they see themselves and the future opportunities that present themselves.
“It is best at this age for parents, guardians and teachers to give the girls the opportunity to be the best, have confidence in themselves and basically dream as widely as they can,” she said.
Lesi said that everyone had a role to play in seeing to the growth of the girl-child being the aim of W.TEC, which continued to provide a platform for girls to learn, explore and expose them to tech mentors and role models.
“The aim of celebrating the day is to highlight and address the needs and challenges that the girl-child faces, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights,’’ she said.