WACOL launches GIRLS WILL project to commemorate International Day of the Girl-Child

Posted by News Express | 12 October 2020 | 890 times

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•WACOL and Tamar SARC Founder, Prof. Ezeilo (OON)


Gender-focussed rights group WACOL has congratulated girls in Nigeria on the occasion of the 2020 International Day of the Girl Child amidst COVID-19 while also using the opportunity to launch her initiative called GIRLS WILL – a programme designed to promote girls right to protection and participation.

The programme, lunched in collaboration with Tamar SARC, “will amplify the voices and rights of girls everywhere in Nigeria,” according to Professor Joy Ngozi Ezeilo (OON), the founder of WACOL and Tamar SARC. “Importantly, the initiative through targeted actions will work to equip girls with the right skills and knowledge to defend their human rights. It will target greater role and participation of girls in decisions affecting their survival and development, advancing their inclusion in science education and technological advancement,” she added.

Prof. Ezeilo said that the GIRLS WILL initiative is informed by the unacceptable situation of girl-children in Nigeria, and elsewhere in the world. She observed that in Nigeria, it takes nine lives to survive childhood for girls. They face multiple and systemic violence, abuse and neglect based on their sex and gender as female children. They are victims of growing scale of sexual abuse and exploitation, including human trafficking, abuse and exploitation as domestic helps, female genital cuttings, early and forced marriage amongst other harmful and discriminatory social norms.

According to Professor Ezeilo, “GIRLS WILL is going to use innovative approaches to raise funds to support investment in girls that will educate and empower all girls, including those with disability and in rural areas based on the Sustainable Development Goal principles of inclusion and of leaving no one behind. GIRLS WILL targets innovation to end girl-child poverty that increases their vulnerabilities to sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria. It is expected that GIRLS WILL starting from November, 2020 will roll out its campaign to promote GIRLS WILL to survive and develop their full potentials without any discrimination whatsoever.”

Speaking on the theme for this year’s commemoration, “My voice, our equal future”, Prof. Ezeilo observed that the earlier Nigeria understands that it will remain underdeveloped if it fails to recognise and remedy the marginalisation, abuse and exploitation of girl-children, the better it stands to improving its developmental forecast. “Nigerian girls are entitled to a life free from violence and societal discrimination, they deserve equal opportunity to access education, including STEM, health, skills and necessary investments to prepare them to take their destinies into their hands as future leaders,” Ezelo said. She assured that we will see more action led by GIRLS WILL as part of the Gender and Equality Movement, and catch them young for equitable and sustainable social change.

Source: News Express

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