By HOSEA NYAMLONG
THE Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria (ALPS) Jos has joined millions across the world in celebrating the United Nations International Day for the Girl Child 2019 with the aim of promoting girls empowerment and fulfilling their human rights and highlighting the challenges that girls face all over the world.
The event which took place recently at the National Museum Jos has at its theme “Girl force. unscripted and unstoppable.
In her welcome speech chairperson of the occasion, Esther Hayab stated that the girl child, is gifted intelligent, resilient and lovable, but faced with the challenges of child trafficking, sexual abuse, early marriage and deprived education.
Hayab advocated for promotion of girl child education, abolition of early marriage and stiffer penalties for sexual abuse offenders.
In a paper presented by Director (Schools) Ministry of Education, John Istifanus, enumerated some challenges the girl child face in our society today.
According to him, the girl child is being given unfair treatment as second class citizen, cultural practices have degraded them as mere tools for giving birth to the children; while African men look at women as their personal property that have no control over themselves.
He added that paying of school fees for the girl child is not taken seriously; they resort to house helps, early marriage and succumb to sexual abuse.
In a key note address by Dr. Patricia Odumoso from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Jos, the girl child’s education is important to the society, adding that the African society has narrowed education only to the male child, leaving the girl child in the hands of culture to decide.
She affirmed that with education, the girl child would break the barrier and move ahead in life to achieve success.
SUNDAY STANDARD gathered that, the Girl Child day started in Beijing China over 25 years ago. Girl Child was first celebrated in 20012, with a more to give a sense of belonging to the girl child.
The occasion was attended by dignitaries and students from schools within Jos metropolis.