By JAMES EZEMA
As Nigeria join the rest of the world to mark this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Imo State on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Cllr. Cilia Osakwe-Hibbert has urged citizens to join their voices to amplify the suppressed voices of the girls in Nigeria and across the world.
She made the call while receiving an award from the Girls’ Brigade, Imo State Chapter.
The Brigade presented to the Face of Imo Diaspora the ‘Phenomenal Girl Child’ Award on Sunday, October 11, 2020, in recognition of her unreserved commitment to championing ‘equality issues’.
The Girls’ Brigade has been championing the rights of women through various activities and engagements such as sensitisations, advocacies, lobbying government bodies, and through strategic partnerships, to mention but a few.
The Special Adviser on Diaspora to Governor Hope Uzodinma, who is a renowned women empowerment activis, received the prestigious award at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ikenegbu, Owerri, the Imo State capital.
In her opening comments, she applauds Sen. Hope Uzodimma, the Executive Governor of Imo State for leading the way in ‘gender equality’.
She stated that never before has there been young women in their 30’s such as herself, in leadership positions in Imo State.
The SA Diaspora, who is also a currently an elected Councillor in the United Kingdom, unequivocally told Abuja Business Reports that, “all States in Nigeria need to prioritise the empowerment of every girl child”.
She went further to say that “this year, I and many women across the world, specifically demand that we collectively:
“Eliminate all forms of descrimination against girls. Eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls.
“Promote and protect the rights of girls and increase awareness of their needs and potential. Eliminate discrimination against girls in education, skills development and training.
“Eliminate discrimination against girls in health and nutrition. Eliminate the economic exploitation of child labour and protect young girls at work.
“Eradicate violence against girls. Promote girls’ awareness of and participation in social, economic and political life. And finally, Strengthen the role of the family in improving the status of girls”, in her 9-point demand.
It is estimated that approximately 70% of women in Nigeria experience morethan one form of sexual violence in their lifetime.
This year’s theme for the International Day of the Girl Child is ‘My Voice Our Equal Future’.