By Luminous Jannamike
Education As a Vaccine (EVA), in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), have sensitised girls on the dangers of sexual violence in school and how to avoid them.
The event, which held in Abuja to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child, involved an awareness talk and discussions by stakeholders on how girls can make informed choices.
Noting that most female students lacked the right information on how to protect themselves, EVA’s Programme Coordinator, Enobong Ekwere, called on the government to create stiffer penalties for teachers and guardians found guilty of gender-based violence in schools.
According to her, “conversations with the school girls reveal that there are having issues related to gender-based violence in their schools.
“They are being violated and somehow do not have information on how to help themselves,” she added.
On her part, UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem, said information and support for girls meant listening to their voices and respecting their rights and choices.
She noted that empowering girls with right information could also help Nigeria lay the foundation for prosperity and well-being for all.
Kanem said when girls have age-appropriate knowledge, they could stay on track to complete their education and gain the skills they need, to find and keep decent jobs and reach their full potential.
“At UNFPA, we believe in the power of girls to take control over their bodies, write their own scripts and shape their own lives.
“By following through on our commitments, we will set the stage for girls to live the lives they dream and be the unstoppable force for the progress we know that they are,” she said.