To bridge the gender gap as regards access to educational opportunities in the state, Special Adviser to Edo State Governor on Gender Issues, Ms. Efosa Uyigue, has commenced a campaign to encourage enrolment of adolescent females and adults in learning centres across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Delivering a keynote address to launch the campaign in Etsako East, Etsako Central, and Etsako West Local Government Areas, Uyigue said: “We can never over-emphasise the need for an awareness campaign such as this. This is a movement to bridge the gender gap and it is a cause worth following, which will bring about societal balance, equity and justice.
Noting that it was pertinent to address gender inequality, she said, “We have been shown continuously that girl-child education drives development. The more educated women we have, the greater the access children have to basic learning and education at home. This, in fact, is at the crux of every civilization unbeknownst to many.”
Uyigue noted that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration was determined to attain gender parity by encouraging more females to acquire education, which will assist in curbing female infanticide, child marriages, feticide, sexual abuse and exploitation, rape, domestic violence, physical abuse, female genital mutilation, human trafficking, among others.
“We must educate our girls because they have a right to be educated. We must change the narrative. The narrative must read loudly that the girl-child has a right to education; to be protected and to stay safe from violence. She has a right to access health services and she, of course, has a right to fully participate in her community,” she said.
According to her, the Governor Obaseki-led administration is poised to enforce the Edo State Gender Policy and drive home the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 7 outcome targets, which include universal primary and secondary education, early childhood development and universal pre-primary education, equal success to technical/vocational and higher education, among others.
At the campaign in Etsako West LGA, the council Chairman, Hon. Yakubu Musa, commended the state government for the well-thought-out plan in reactivating learning centres because education of the girl-child is paramount for any country that wants to move forward.