The International Day of the Girl Child is observed by the United Nations every October 11th. The theme for the 2022 global commemoration of this observance’s 10th anniversary is “Our time is now – our rights, our future.” This year’s theme focuses on children’s rights and the part that each member of society plays in ensuring that each kid realizes their full potential and can exercise their rights.
As UNICEF rightly noted, girls continue to face unimaginable obstacles to their education, physical and mental health, and the safety required for a life free of violence. Over 10 million of Nigeria’s 18.5 million out-of-school children are girls, making up 60% of this worrisome number. Only one out of every four girls from disadvantaged families in rural areas completes junior high school. This educational disparity between the sexes further reduces children’s potential and increases their risk of abuse, violence, financial hardship, and health issues.
Some social, economic, and political issues have all had an impact on these figures. Girls’ aspirations are restricted in some regions of Nigeria since it is believed that they are not social beings like boys. The mistaken notion that women belong in the kitchen fosters the sad reality that many teenage girls are married off when they should be in the classroom. Child marriage undoubtedly has a serious impact on the health of young girls, including an increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, cervical cancer, childbirth mortality, and even infant malnutrition, to name a few. Political unrest, like the kidnapping of the Chibok girls, has increased families’ reluctance to send their female children to school throughout most of Northern Nigeria.
Today, we work along with the rest of the world to call for a decade of rapid progress for our girls.
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