Sustainable development goals, a way to go for the girl child

Participants at the event

Still in the mood of the International Day of the Girl Child, Women, Law and Development Centre Nigeria (WLDCN) and Ayisat Afolabi Foundation (AAAF) recently organised a one-day symposium at Veritas College, Oregun Ikeja Lagos, with the theme “The Power of The Adolescent Girl: Vision 2030”.

The theme was centred on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nation’s Vision 2030, with “achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls as the fifth on the list.

The symposium was graced with students from a number of schools, and special guest speakers talked about how to empower the girl child to fit in equals with the boy child.

Dr. Keziah Awosika, the executive director WLDCN, an agency for empowering women through training, advocacy, research and general public enlightenment said WLDCN believes in total empowerment of the woman and girl child.“We organised the symposium within the context of the 17 SDGs to make the girl child realise her place within the worldview.

“This is why we talk about gender equality, which is the 5th on SDG.”“I want this girls to understand that they are an important player and should not be left behind.

“Women have to believe in themselves and vote for themselves to attain any political level in Nigeria and the world at large”.She added that gender inequality is a global issue and not a biological defect hence, the decision to start sensitisation through the media and entertainment industries.

Speaking at the event, Foluke Ademokun, Executive Coordinator of AAAF, a non-profit organisation that promotes the cause of women, particularly widows, orphans and vulnerable children, said Vision 2030 is an agenda set by the world to have a sustainable development by the time.

She said the channel to empowering the adolescent girl child is education. “With education the girl child will be pulled to safety”.
“Education gives you the capability to reason, communicate, and make decision. Take it or leave it, part of the problems the girl child has is the inability to be in the main stream of decision making”.

She added that, education is not just about schooling but about recognising that the female child has innate capability to do everything the male child can do.

“The moment a girl and a woman sees herself as a solution, lack of confidence will no longer be an issue.“This is why I appreciate the ongoing process of women supporting women, to support other women. We need to work together as girls and women”.

Mrs. Shade Taiwo a researcher with Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER) Ibadan, said the vision 2030 is to bring to the fore, the gender stereotype the society has created between the girl and boy child. “Girls should be trained to be assertive to reduce inequality as they grow”.

Sharon Okure, a 16-year-old SSS 3 student of Veritas College, told The Guardian that she has learnt about the power of a girl child and how the established vision 2030 would give freedom from poverty, discrimination and sexual abuses of the female gender.

“We were also advised on how to prevent sexual assault by conducting ourselves appropriately, especially around family members, as most cases of sexual assaults are by family members and relations” she said.

In this article:
Foluke AdemokunWLDCN
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