CSOs, development partners and some group of teenagers are demanding for the domestication and implementation of the Violence Against Person Prohibition and Child’s Rights Act .
They made the demand at the end of a two days girls voices summit organized by YouthHubAfrica with support from Ford Foundation.
The girls aged 15 to 19 developed a charter with a list of demands to address issues inthe areas of girl child education, gender equality and leadership, sexual andreproductive health and access to technology in Nigeria.
Some of the teenagers who were panelist at the program called for an end to early child marriage.
Favour Unoh said there is need for society to give the girl child a voice, and stop silencing them on a daily basis.She also advised parents to stop giving out their children as sex objects in exchange for money.
” It is not nice for girls to be seen as object of sex or sold in exchange for marriage. We do not want girls to be marginalised again, but rather given a voice in the society”.
Another 16 years old student Chidinma by name in her words said ” Early marriage is not good for girls at all. It hinders their development in every area of life. It is sad that the girl child is raising another girl child again. The children they give birth to end up becoming liabilities in the society. We should support the education of girls”.
The UN Women Country Representative to Nigeria, Comfort Lamptey said there should be strategic efforts put in place to support the girl child.
In the same vein, she added that intergenerational mentorship is key in empowering the girl child.
” How far have we gone in supporting the girl child. It is still work in progress, we can do better in this regards. We need to give voice to the girls. They need mentorship in order to amplify their voices”.
Lamptey disclosed that the UN women will continually support the rights of girls and invest in intergenerational dialogue between young girls and develop leadership institutions for abetter society.
The representative from UNICEF, Maria Machicado who is also the Gender andDevelopment Manager commended the efforts of the young girls for being aware of their rights and demanding for it early.
She added that there should be an end to violence in schools, and the need for security to be strong.
” We should increase security in our schools, this will encourage more girls to leave the comfort of their homes. We should encourage girls to be able to contribute to formal economy of the country “.Presentation of prizes were done to the top three winners of the girls voices essay.Sarat Mustapha from Heritage global academy took the first position, Favour Unoh second prize position while the third position went to Hadiza Uthman of Government Day secondary school , Gaa Akanbi, ilorin.