The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, says the ministry made tremendous progress in the promotion of the rights of the girl-child.
She made this known at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday to launch a campaign to support girl-child education and activities for the 2020 International Day of the Girl-Child.
She, however, noted that even though there was progress, the discrimination and violence against girls and violation of their rights still persisted.
She said that girls were estimated to constitute the highest number of out-of-school children around the globe, and stressed the need to promote girl-child education by all and sundry.
The minister added that the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic had further jeopardised the gains recorded in the past in the programmes organised for the girl-child.
According to her, cases of rape have escalated geometrically in the country.
She said “as we continue to widen the scope of the ministry’s partnership in delivering on the goal of the girl-child education, the occasion of the 2020 International Day of the Girl-Child is a time to support more girls in school.
“I hereby invite you all to join my ministry as we roll out this all-encompassing project tagged ‘Campaign to support girl-child education in Nigeria.”
Mrs Adewumi Onanuga, the Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs, who spoke through a virtual platform, stressed the need for parents to support girl-child education.
Hajia Hajo Sani, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs, who also spoke through a virtual platform, urged Nigerians to unite and tackle the challenges faced by the girl-child, especially rape.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives from UNICEF, UN, and state commissioners for women affairs participated in the programme.
The UN General Assembly on Dec. 19, 2011, adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare Oct. 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, aimed at recognising girls’ rights and the unique challenges they face around the world.
The International Day of the Girl Child also aims to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. The theme for the 2020 International Day of the Girl-Child is “My voice, our equal future”.