Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has emphasized the importance of the girl child education, just as he stressed that the education of the girl child has been proven to be critical for the advancement of any nation.
The Minister who made this statement to mark the celebration of 2019 International Day of the Girl Child held at Eagle Square Abuja, also noted that the girl child needs and deserves to be celebrated, considering the important roles women play in the society as mothers, primary care givers, managers of home finances and businesses.
Bello, who was represented by the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, observed that the United Nations General Assembly has set aside October 11, to celebrate and promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges that girls face across the world.
The Minister also stated that women have often been the difference between success and failure of homes, organisations and even the national affairs of great and small nations as they have been known to have stepped up at the right moments and taken charge of critical situations.
According to him, “I have the strong belief that all of us here must have witnessed situations at one time or another when your mothers, sisters, aunties and even grand-mothers, often at great personal sacrifice, have advanced family fortunes and solved knotty problems which otherwise would have spelt disaster for all around”.
He, however, regretted that despite the role played by women both at the home front and national level, women and girls have often been handed the short end of the stick as they are disadvantaged in so many ways in the society.
Bello, identified cultural factors as responsible for the denial of girl basic rights such as the right to education and condemned to early marriage; aimed at ensuring that the girl child never really realises her full potential.
He described this year’s theme; “Girl First -Unscripted and Unstoppable” as not only timely but apt, stressing that free and compulsory quality secondary education for all girls should be addressed in all states of the federation.
“Indeed, our girls should be given the opportunities to be “unscripted” by being allowed to be creative and innovative and this can only be attained by education.
“The importance of the education of the girl child has however been proven to be critical for the advancement of any society. There is saying that when you educate a man, you educate an individual, but when you educate a woman, you educate a nation,” he stated.
The Minister revealed that in the FCT, the Administration has made education of the girl -child a priority, adding that the FCT Administration has amongst other activities carried out advocacy campaigns to all parts of the territory to encourage the enrolment of the girl-child in schools and there is little difference in the enrolment figures of boys and girls in the territory.
Earlier in her remarks, the UN Women Representative for Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, affirmed that the UN women will continue to advocate and insist that the girl-child is not relegated to the back-ground in the development agenda of any nation, adding that active participation of the girl child in the affairs of any country could ultimately make the difference between success and failure.