The girl child has suffered from alien traditional practices for centuries, especially in Africa where most fathers (families) ignorantly neglected the girl child.
Often she’s deprived the right to education, and sadly given into early marriage (child marriage) even when she’s not biologically mature for it.
The girl child has suffered other harmful practices like genital mutilation, forced labour, and other barbaric predicaments. These age-long anti-progress, anti-unity has continued to be the major undoing for the girl child.
This has forced the United Nations into action, though it came quite late in the 21st century, precisely on October 11, 2012 when the United Nations declared the International Day of the Girl Child to help eradicate the menace facing the girl child.
With 2021 theme, “Digital Generation. Our Generation”, the United Nations believe that with the enabling environment and significant support, girls will not only develop competitive competencies, but also thrive in a digital world.
Indeed history has vindicated the girl child of being a resourceful gift from nature, if she’s nurtured and given the right foundation.
For instance the Likes of Dr Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (WTO DG), Chimmamanda Adichie, a renowned novelist, etc, whose parents never discriminated against, lived up to the their full potentials competing favourably with their male counterparts. Underscoring the fact that, with a proper foundation, the girl child will always meet and exceed expectations.
Today as we mark the 2021 International Day of the girl child, a strong message must be sent to the nooks and crannies of the globe, especially to places where the girl child is still handed primitive treatments.
Release the girl child, support her and watch out what a generational blessing she could be.
Many civilized worlds have since discovered the hidden potentials of the girl child and has as well exploited it for the common good of mankind.
The West for instance has cut down significantly on the gender inequality gap that exists between the boy and girl child. Though that’s not to say the boy child is always favoured, but it gives the girl child the confidence to dream and bring same to reality.
But pursuing gender equality shouldn’t be left in the hands of United Nations agencies, and civil society organisations alone. It must be everyone’s responsibility. Remember, no child can determine his/her gender, nature determines that. Let us therefore make laws that bridge the gap and equally favours both gender, which will rather unite us more instead of creating unhealthy divisions and discriminatory tendencies.
Going forward, kudos must be given to a number of visionary men who have significantly honoured and promoted the goals and aspirations of the girl child. Noting that every woman was once a girl, and “if you build the woman, you build the nation”.
Visionaries like the executive governor of Rivers State, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike; CON, GSSRS, POS (Africa) who understands the relevance of women has opened channels for them to maximize their potentials. This is not just in talk, but in practice. Instead of going with the dominant gender, he chose a woman as deputy governor, (Her Excellency, Dr Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo.) He equally made it mandatory for all Local governments to at least have a female vice chairman.
On a day like this, where we advocate the release and support for the girl child, we also commend those who have supported women on different platforms to enjoy freedom across the globe.
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