Today 11th October is the annual International Day of the Girl Child 2016 (#IDG2016,) a day declared by the United Nations to promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys. It is also called ‘Day of the Girl’ and the ‘International Day of the Girl.
It is commemorated to support more opportunity for girls and increase awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide in areas such as right to education/access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage.
It was first observed in 2012, making today the 5th International #DayOfTheGirl.
The theme for this year is “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: What Counts for Girls”.
When we invest in girls’ health, safety, education and rights – in times of peace and crisis, we empower them to reach for their dreams and live better lives.
There are about 1.1 billion girls in the world, many of who are disadvantaged and face discrimination. The ambition in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to ensure that globally, girls of this vibrant generation are empowered to take on the future.
The Association for Reproductive and Family Health has been committed to so many causes geared towards the improvement of the quality of lives of under-privileged communities, and by extension, women, girls and children. ARFH will continue to advocate for the upholding of the rights of women and girls.
At a recent event, speaking on behalf of NGOs in Nigeria, the President/CEO of ARFH Professor Oladapo Ladipo stated that: “More teenage girls are being assaulted and forced into early marriage. We will continue to advocate that Nigeria develops policies that will enhance girl child education, their protection and also advocate that Nigeria adopts Gambia’s recent policy of ban on teenage and early marriage for young under-aged girls.” (VIDEO)
He also reiterated that, it is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on education that all girls and boys must receive quality primary and secondary education. Professor Ladipo said
“We will continue to advocate that government puts in place favourable policies to encourage young girls to enroll in schools and remain in schools, as we all know education can have a powerful impact in reducing child and early marriages”.