By Izunna Okafor
The need for girls' acquisition of relevant skills and more improvement on girl child's access to quality education has been reiterated.
This formed the central point of the 2020 International Day of the Girl Child, marked by the Anambra State Library Board in partnership with the Development Initiative for Technology and Empowerment (DEVITEM) and the Davina Care Foundation.
Speaking at the event which held at Nteje, the Secretariat Complex of Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, the Director of Anambra State Central E-Library Awka, Dr. Nkechi Udeze said the day was set up by the United Nations to globally celebrate girl child to advocate more opportunities for girls.
She said the day was also created to promote awareness of gender inequality faced by girls globally, due to their gender; look into problems of girl child; educate them and encouraged them so that they can attain great heights in the society. She described this year's theme of the event "My Voice, Our Equal Future" as apt, and thus charged the girls to allow people around and the society at large to hear their voices and see what they have to offer for the betterment of the society both now and in the future.
Contributing, the Project Coordinator, Development Initiative for Technology and Empowerment (DEVITEM), Mrs. Ngozi Osuchukwu noted that both the girl child and the boy child are important in the society, and should be regarded as such. She hence urged the girls never to allow anyone stop them or limit their potentials, but to work hard to become independent and responsible people, so as to prove their worth and contribute meaningfully to the development of the society.
Further dissecting the event's theme, the CEO, Davina Care Foundation, Mrs. Yohanna Racheal said, "When they say that a girl child should have a voice, the voice is not just for her to talk, but for her to have something to show and something she can use to impact lives.
"Every child has something special in them, and so we need them to start now to discover and display their potentials, and skills and put them in work, in such a it's going to help them and the society both now in the future. Government also has great roles to play in ensuring adequate right and opportunities for the girl child; and they must rise up to these responsibilities."
In their separate remarks, some of the teachers of the participating schools —Mrs Nkiruka Nwafor (of St. Paul's Nursery and Primary School, Nteje); Miss Ifeoma Chukwubeze (of Mount Olive College, Umunya), and Mr. Mbanugo Ekene (of Esedo Memorial Nursery and Primary School, Nteje) appreciated the library for bringing this year's event to their doorstep, and promised to take the message home to the rest of the students.
Sharing her experience, a student of Mount Olive College, Umunya, Igbokwe Chinaza said the event exposed her to some of the things she never knew about girl child; appreciated the library, and promised to always let her voice be heard, even as a girl child.
The event featured presentation by the students of the participating schools, as well as lectures, and questions and answers secession on issues revolving around the girl child.
The International Day of the Girl Child was first celebrated on 11 October, 2012, following the voting and passing of the day as the inaugural International Day of Girls by the United Nations General Assembly. The resolution was sponsored by the then Canada's Minister for the Status of Women,
Rona Ambrose; a delegation of women and girls made presentations in support of the initiative at the 55th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.