As the nation grapples with the challenges of insecurity following the abduction of Chibok school girls by Boko Haram insurgents, the President, Ika Community Ladies Welfare Association, Mrs. Margaret Obaigbena, has stressed the need for the protection and development of the girl child in the country.
Obaigbena stated this at the weekend in Boji Boji, Ika, Delta State during the association’s annual lecture series with the theme “Development of the Girl Child in a development society.”
She pointed out that no nation could attain meaningful socio-economic and political greatness without focusing on the intellectual, mental, physical and spiritual development of the girl child because she is the future mother of the society.
She said: “You will all agree with me that looking out there, you and I may not be happy seeing some of our children who are suppose to be in school, are rather out there, hawking round and selling wares for their parents , mostly the girls , whom the parents considered doing the job better.
“Honestly this is a sign post to a bleak future, we need the involvement of parents, teachers, pastors and law enforcement agencies to see that the girl child is allowed to have a quality upbringing, education and to acquire skills that will make her a wholesome individual to herself and the nation.”
Director, Information Communication Technology Unit (ICTU), University of Benin, Professor S.C Chiemeke in his eleven page paper presentation, pointed out that the girl child and indeed women especially in Africa and Nigeria has had their destiny sealed from birth by tradition and culture on account of their biological sex.
He said girl child and women have been called the weaker sex in order to justify society discrimination and oppression against them, consequently their rights are circumscribed by tradition , custom and male chauvinism.
To free the girl child from these vicious cycle, Chiemeke suggested that the girl child should have access to qualitative information communication technology education, access to free qualitative education , the abrogation of obnortious laws , culture and traditional practices against the girl child and provision of equal opportunities for the girl child.