Since 2012, 11th October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day aims at highlighting and addressing the needs and challenges girls face. At the same time, it seeks to promote girls’ empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights.
Thus, in its effort to achieve gender equality and sustainable development, Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) also took part in celebrating the 2017 International Day of the Girl.
The event which took place at Government Girls Secondary School Shekara, was attended by girls from various secondary schools in Kano including Fatima Muhammad, Tahir, Hausawa, Women Teachers College among others.
The first presentation was delivered by the CITAD official, Harira Wakili, titled ‘The Power of the Adolescent Girl’, which focused on the importance of the girl child in the society. She explained that women are very important in our society; as such, should be provided with all fundamental human rights.
The second presentation was delivered by Maryam Haruna titled, ‘Empowering Adolescent Girl: To Ending the Cycle of Violence.’ It focused on how girl child could be empowered to become economically independent through skills acquisition and training, strengthening that ICT is an important opportunity for the girl child in Nigeria.
The third presentation titled, ‘Education of the Girl Child, Prospects and Challenges’ was delivered by Maryam Ado Haruna. The presentation centered on the importance of education in the lives of female children as enabling female education is crucial for national development. She added that education translates girl child to better health for the future generation, reduces child morbidity and mortality, and therefore brings about achievement of all other sustainable Development Goals in an effective way.
Husaina Hasan, among many other students who expressed their appreciation for the programme, commended CITAD for this effort and promised to focus on her studies, acquire skills to empower herself and also support her education where necessary.
A student from Fatima Muhammad School explained that she initially had the fear of belated marriage as commonly believed in our society if a girl chooses to advance her studies, but her perception has now been changed positively with this programme.
Another student named Safiya Ado, asked for the effort CITAD is making towards sensitizing parents on supporting their children’s education, as many parents show nonchalant attitude especially with the poverty rate in Nigeria.
While responding, CITAD official, Harira Wakili explained that CITAD has implemented a programme named ‘Mobilising for Development’ funded by DFID, which aimed at promoting enrollment of children in school especially the female child. She added that students are also responsible for making their parents aware of the importance of education to them.
Various teachers from different schools who accompanied their students to the programme have also enlightened the students on the importance of education, adding that men now prefer good and educated girls to illiterate ones.
The theme of the 2017 international Girl Child’s Day is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.”