From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Traditional leaders in Kaduna State said they are committed to upholding the rights, voices and influence of the girl child in their communities.
The District Head of Kufana in Adara Chiefdom His Highness, Chief Titus Dauda, made the commitment in Kaduna yesterday during an event to commemorate the “2019 International Day of the Girl”, organized by the State Ministry of Education in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with support from Africa Media Development Foundation’s (AMDF), Riseup Project and other partners.
Chief Dauda, who spoke on behalf of all traditional leaders in the state, felicitated with the girls as they mark the special day with the theme: “Girlforce: Unscripted and unstoppable”.
The International Day of the Girl Child, is commemorated every 11th October, to amplify their voices
“The theme is apt as we have seen the positive impact of girls who were given the opportunity to achieve their dreams and attain their goals in our families, communities and nation at large.
“The traditional institution recognizes the place of girls as potential wives and mothers and as well as their role as powerful agents of change.
“Hence, as custodians of our culture and traditions we remain committed to upholding the rights, voices and influence of the girl child in our communities. We enjoin parents to give the girl child the opportunity to attain her goals which begins with access to quality education.” He said.
Similarly, the State Commissioner of Education, Shehu Usman Makarfi, who represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Phoebe Yayi, said the state government since 2012 has been marking the day of the Girl Child which is aimed at highlighting and addressing the needs and challenges girls’ face while promoting girls; empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
In a message to the occasion, UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem, stated that, the organization is advocating for the girls because “when they have age-appropriate knowledge about their bodies and relationships, they are better able to prevent pregnancy and protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
Represented by the Head UNFPA Sub Office in Kaduna, Mariama Daboe, expressed worries that despite many promises made by government to the girls in Cairo and Beijing, none of them is yet to be fulfilled.