International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations; it is also called the Day of Girls. The day advocates more opportunity for girls and increases awareness of gender inequality faced by girls worldwide based upon their gender. This draws attention to areas in which girls suffer inequality such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care and protection from discrimination, violence against women and forced child marriage.

This year INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD was celebrated in a grand style in the city of Osogbo, the State Capital of Osun State, Nigeria at Osogbo Government High School.

In her welcome address, Dr. Olayinka Oderinde, the Executive Director of Life Matters Foundation, (a non-governmental organisation) the convener of this year celebration said, “Children are considered bundles of joy and happiness and they should be treated with so much care and caution. However, various forms of dichotomizations are introduced which make boys to be more superior to girls and this has created various forms of discriminations and bias against the girl child.” She made references to different abuses against girl child. She further said that Life Matters Foundation, over the years has raised a voice for the numerous number of voiceless abused girls across the nation, also has created awareness on key issues that affect the girl child, thereby creating vital springboards from which meaningful interventions can emerge in the bid to giving due protection and defence for the girl child especially in Nigeria.

According the convener, 2019 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD is another opportunity to draw attention to the plights of the girl child and the theme for this year celebration is “EMPOWERING GIRLS FOR A BETTER TOMORROW.” The activities to mark the day include: campaign on “save the girl child”, child sex ratios, creating a healthy and safe environment for a girl child. The convener said further that LIFE MATTERS MENTORING PROGRAMME will be unveiled very soon. This will focus on empowering the Nigerian girl children to standout in their pursuits in life. She challenged adults especially older women to join the MENTOR GROUP of this foundation.

Professionals in various fields were allowed to speak to the participants on issues relating to a girl child: Girls’ participation in politics, the place of emotional intelligence in empowering the Nigerian girl child, mental health and the Nigerian girl child, focusing on suicide, relationship, violence and murder.

The programme also captured drama presentations and exhibition of skills and talents by the students in attendance. Every girl child participant received a sanitary pad which was provided for by the Life Matters Foundation.

In attendance are: the representative of wife of the State Governor, her Excellency Alhaja Kafayat Oyetola, NATIP Zonal Commander, Mrs. Akomolafe Kehinde, representative of Hon. Taiwo Oluga, Member of House of Rep., representative of Professor Oyesoji Aremu, Director Distant Learning Centre University of Ibadan, Dr. Ola Ibigbami, child Psychiatrist OAU and other stakeholders in educational sector in Osun State.  


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