The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Education to significantly decrease or eliminate the number of girls out of school by guaranteeing mandatory free education for girls nationwide.
The House’s decision followed the adoption of a motion yesterday, moved by Hon. Kafilat Ogbara, to mark the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child, themed “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.”
In presenting the motion, the lawmaker highlighted that October 11th is globally recognized as the International Day of the Girl Child, providing a platform to acknowledge the challenges faced by girls worldwide.
She emphasized that the day serves as a reminder of the girl child’s uniqueness, strength, and capabilities. Ogbara also underscored that addressing various issues affecting girls, including early marriage, violence, education deprivation, and other forms of discrimination is essential.
Furthermore, she expressed concern about the prevalence of patriarchal norms and power dynamics that disadvantage girls, with data indicating a substantial number of girls being out of school compared to boys. The motion highlighted the critical need to invest in girls’ rights under international conventions such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to accelerate the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The motion also addressed the distressing trend of girls returning to environments where they have faced sexual abuse, emphasizing the importance of agencies such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in educating and sensitizing adolescent girls about the dangers of substance abuse.
The House urged the Federal Ministry of Education to take concrete steps to minimize the number of out-of-school girls by implementing compulsory free education nationwide. Additionally, it called on relevant ministries and agencies responsible for training and empowerment to provide mandatory vocational skills acquisition training for girls, ensuring their engagement and productivity while keeping them away from harmful influences.