DAILY, from Lagos to New York in United State and Myanmar, a Southeast Asian nation, the story has been the same. Every girl child was often confronted with different challenges, ranging from domestic violence, lack of proper education and others. And these affect girl’s ability to function properly in the society.
While some get required counseling, which helps them to wade across the storm, scores of others were often enveloped by these challenges. Some of these challenges were attributed by some experts to lack of vocational skills. Due to these challenges, the United Nations five years ago, set aside October 11 to mark the International Day of the Girl (IDG). According to the global agency, the day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls’ face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights.
To achieve gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners recognize that it was essential that suitable investment and support were made on girls to transforming them the risks and deprivations they face globally from, preventing and responding to gender-based violence to advancing adolescent girls’ secondary education, into pathways towards a better life.
The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity, and the millions of girls in emergencies are no exception.
Opportunities girls face
This year’s International Day of the Girl (IDG), themed: “empower girls: Before, during and after emergencies”, according to UN marks the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises.
To ensure that in Nigeria, these unfavourable situations end, the National Association of Sea Dogs, NAS, has intervened with students who were the next generation in the state. As part of its activities to address the challenges facing girls, the association seek services of career experts to mentor students largely girls of Community Secondary School, Igbogbo-Bayeku, Ikorodu, Lagos State, to ensure they have a different orientation and understanding of what the society holds for them.
Speaking on behalf of the association, president, National Association of Seadogs, Ikorodu chapter, Inaede Anthony, in an interview with Vanguard, said that the association has decided to focus more on vocation for girl child because it had been the aspect where demands were currently been needed globally.
Inaede stressed that the aim of the association was to ensure that the next generation has adequate access to knowledge needed in assisting the country address it challenges, adding “the reason was that the new trend globally now, having academic qualification alone cannot sustain someone. One would need to have skills that he could sharpen as he grows; to live a better and fulfilled life.”
Inaede hinted that the organization hired three personalities that could mentor the children to understand the challenges facing the country and how they could help in providing solutions to them. “I am very confident that with the response of the students to the facilitators, one would realize that they jotted all they heard. These were some of the things they had known but cannot explain it. And they needed a different perspective to further understand better,” he added.
On why the association had considered the girl-child campaign important, the president disclosed that there were several things that were important whenever issues affecting girl child is raised. “One will find out that due to culture and religion issues, girls were often relegated to the background in Africa. That indicated that over half of the African populations were subjugated. And whenever this is done, the power of the country is reduced.
“The reason many western countries have remained better was that they have often ensured that girls have access to any opportunities men have. And this allows them to contribute their quota to the development of their country. We feel that this is an area that the society needs adequate sensitization and that was why we have decided to step in and correct the notion,” Inaede added.
He stated that money spent on the training was insignificant: “It is not about the money but what drives the association is to give back to the society and make it a better place for all.” The president, however, disclosed that next year, the association has decided to increase the number of students that would be trained in order to ensure Lagos has the youths that would be ready to address the country’s challenges.