Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun has said that her passion and commitment to the care and welfare of the girl child remains unwavering.
Mrs. Abiodun gave the indication at the celebration of the International Girl Child Day, organised by the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, at the Cultural Center, Kuto, Abeokuta.
She stated that the present administration at inception made effort to encourage the girl child, towards enhancing their learning condition for optimal academic performance.
“For me, one of the issues I care about deeply is the girl child. In 2019, we discussed how to encourage girl child to stay in school, including the initiative to provide sanitary and personal hygiene kits to girls, while improving toilet facilities and access to water in our schools”.
Mrs. Abiodun admonished the girls to speak up on matters that could negatively affect them in the society.
” As girls, I encourage you to speak up on issues that affect you. I joined the protest against rape and sexual violence some months ago, because I believe it is an issue that must stop in our country. When a matter is dear to your heart, speak up”.
Also speaking, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Funmi Efuwape advised the girl child to be determined to surmount any form of challenge they might be facing, and walk up tall among their male counterparts in all endeavors.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Special Adviser to the State Governor on Primary and Secondary Education, Mrs. Ronke Soyombo highlighted salient issues that bordered on the girl child to include, inaccessibility to education, gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, among others, revealing that about 75 percent of the female gender account for more people that have experienced violence around the world, while 133 million have witnessed female genital mutilation.
Soyombo challenged individuals, parents, government and other stakeholders to rise to the task of eliminating discrimination against the girl child, by giving them good education, reduced their risk of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, with a call to care and make resilience building work for every young woman.
“Let me say that too often, adolescent girls face intersecting disadvantages such as sexual violence, reduced education opportunities, among others.
As individuals, parents, schools and other organisations, we must take proactive measures in giving voice to the voiceless, break the wall between you and the girls by having interactive sessions with them, adopting them and their education through scholarships”, she said.
The programme had in attendance, girls drawn from both public and private schools across the four zones of the State with highlights such as cultural display, music choreography and speaking competition.
The first position in the speaking competition was taken by Miss Ojeade Christiana of Baptist Girls College, Abeokuta, the second by Miss Enitan Oyindamola of Yewa College, Ilaro and the third by Miss Oyewale Sophiat of Paragon International College, Oke Aregba, Abeokuta, with gifts and cash prizes.
Kemi Oyeleye & Damilola Jacobs,
Press Officers, Office of the First Lady & MOES&T