UNFPA seeks empowerment of girl-child


Nigeria’s development agenda could only be sustained if every girl-child was empowered to participate in development agenda, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said.

Speaking in Abuja on the sidelines of the ‘put young people first’ its Executive Director, Natalia Kanem, said every educated girl-child is well equipped to raise educated and informed children.

“The girl child is a precious member of the Nigerian society. We celebrate the girl child because she has the potential to change the world once she is treated equally as boys because girls are equal.


“She needs education, she needs to be protected and she needs to be informed. UNFPA endorses the efforts of Nigeria to bring education to every girl child in the country. Education is a mark of progress in the family,” she said.

Kanem argued that investing in girl child education was a very important investment, as the world strives to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

She added that the girl child needs many hands to build her future, saying the task of nation building was for competent people and women constitute half of the population.

She also argued that young people must be given a prime role in nation-building processes, saying, “Young people deserve correct information so that they can make intelligent decisions on their future plans. We cannot shy away from given correct information to young people.

“So, we need every young person to seek correct information and not misconceptions go to reliable sources, which means the parents, teachers, traditional and community leaders must be informed. Midwives of the community have to be of good protective information to the young people.”

While stressing the importance of skilled birth attendant in every village across the country to attend to pregnant women, Kanem explained that it was critical for every family to plan their lives for the betterment of the society.

Kanem hinted that UNFPA was working with other United Nations agencies under the aegis of UN framework for health, for education and gender equality to ensure that no woman dies while giving birth.She revealed that there were over 65 million refugees around the world, while Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) also on the rise.

Speaking, UNFPA representative in Nigeria, Diene Keita, said the UN agency focuses on development and humanitarian works in the country.
Keita, who stressed the need for partnership between government at various levels and international donors, added that UNFPA was assisting victims of terrorism in the Northeast to overcome the harrowing experiences they were going through.

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