A group, FIDA (International Federation of Women Lawyers) Nigeria has called on the government, parents, and other stakeholders to help the plight of the Nigerian girl-child by educating them, bridging the inequality and digital gender gap and creating opportunities for them to make them strong women leaders.
FIDA stated this in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child 2021 with the theme, “Digital generation, Our generation.”
A statement by Rhoda Prevail Tyoden, the Country’s Vice President/National President and Eliana Martins, the National Publicity Secretary said young girls must be properly equipped to enable them to compete positively.
FIDA said there is a need to also work towards mitigating the digital gender gap so equal opportunities can be created and a niche carved for girl child participation.
The statement reads: “Though the Girl Child in Nigeria is still disadvantaged, discriminated against, underprivileged and grossly underestimated, we celebrate her strength, against all odds that the society has stacked up against them, the girl-child still manages to daily surmount the obstacles and challenges to survive and excel.
“We acknowledge that to relate in our modern world today, digital literacy is an essential skill without which girls will have fewer employment opportunities and will face additional barriers to workforce participation. We must therefore appreciate this challenge and then seek to properly equip them to be great in this generation.
“While we are still grappling with tackling the ills faced by the girl child, we need to also work towards mitigating the digital gender gap so we can equally create opportunities and carve a niche for girl child participation.
“According to UNICEF, while the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning, and connecting, some 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 still do not have internet access at home.
“Accordingly, girls are more likely to be cut off. The gender gap for global internet users grew from 11 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2019. In the world’s least developed countries, it hovers around 43 percent; this calls for grave concern. Inequality in education is also a major contributor to the gender digital divide.
“To this end, FIDA Nigeria: celebrates the girl child, beautiful, strong, courageous, bold, adaptable, and tenacious excelling despite societal challenges.
“Celebrates the girl child excelling in education, particularly IT, Digital Technology particularly Jessica Osita, Promise Nnalue, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo, Vivian Okoyewho.
“The girls from Regina Pacis Secondary School, Onitsha, Anambra State Nigeria who represented Nigeria and Africa at the World Technovation Challenge in the Silicon Valley in San Francisco, USA won the Gold Medal in the contest.
“They won the challenge with a mobile application called the FD-Detector which they developed to help tackle the challenge of fake pharmaceutical products in Nigeria. They are worthy poster children, so others can emulate.
“Celebrates women who are already working in the digital space and call upon them to work more closely with the girl child, helping in creating necessary platforms and opportunities for the girl child to use thereby supporting in closing the gender gap in this sector.
“We also celebrate female digital tech champions such as Adora Nwodo a Software Engineer at Microsoft. Abiola Eniola Aminu, a Product Designer at Flutter-wave.
“Omolara Adejuwon, an Editor at ProAndroidDev, amongst others who have so far accomplished giant strides in this sector despite known challenges. They stand today as great inspirations and worthy mentors to the girl child.
“FIDA Nigeria calls for collective efforts from all – the government, parents, guardians, civil society organizations, FBOs, international institutions, and their agencies to help the plight of the Nigerian girl-child by educating them, bridging the inequality and digital gender gap, create opportunities for them to culminate into strong women leaders.
“FIDA Nigeria continues in her noble cause of promoting, protecting, and preserving the rights, interests, and well-being of women and children through the use of legal framework and advocacy to ensure that they live free from all forms of discrimination, violence, and abuse in the society.”