Prioritize safety, welfare of girl-child - Group tells Tinubu - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, January 5, 2024

Prioritize safety, welfare of girl-child - Group tells Tinubu

By Demilade Michael

A non-profit organisation, HACEY Health Initiative, has called on President Bola Tinubu to prioritize policies that seek safety of the girl-child and address issues such as discrimination, violence or abuse, lack of access to education, among others that could hinder Nigerian female children from attaining their full potentials.

The group equally called on governments at the State and Federal levels to ensure widespread access to quality education for girls, and remove every blockage that may hinder their enrollment or continuation in schools.

The Programme Manager of HACEY, Oluwatomi Olunuga, made the call at the 3-day 2023 Fellowship Programme of Platform for Amplifying the Voice and Empowerment of Girls' (PAVE) Project held at Magada in Obafemi/Owode local government area of Ogun State. 

The programme was supported by Empower, UK.

Olunuga also charged the government to implement comprehensive healthcare programs that focus on girls' specific health needs, including reproductive health and mental well-being.

She called for the introduction of initiatives and programme to economically empower girls through skills training, vocational programs, and support for entrepreneurship.

Olunuga described the project as a girl-centred, community based safe space programme that supports teenage girls with lifesaving health, financial and life-skill information, services and tools, providing an opportunity and platform for them to express themselves, learn and build their capacities to lead. 

"The PAVE project provides a safe space where girls can learn about sexual health, mental health, and career development and receive mentoring and referral to further support". 

"They are provided with access to resources, information and tools to build their capacity and agency to make informed decisions", Olunuga said. 

The PAVE project is being implemented in Lagos and Ogun state.

"Our overall goal is to support 2,000 in-school and out-of-school girls aged 12-19 years to live to their full potential by supporting them and equipping them with knowledge, skills and confidence to make informed decisions regarding their health, finance and personal development".

"At the end of the project we want to ensure that young girls have improved mental and physical wellbeing, are able to make informed financial decisions, have increased access to life-skills, vocational trainings and mentoring and can easily access positive girl centered social networks".

She called for enforcement and enhanced policies that promote gender equality, and address issues such as discrimination, violence, and unequal opportunities for girls.

Olunuga said government should also strengthen measures to ensure the safety and security of girls, both in public spaces and within their homes, and as well combating any forms of abuse or violence.

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