Aisha Buhari Vows to Advocate Publicly for Legislation Against Child Marriage  ……. Adolescent girls should be empowered – UNICEF

Aisha Buhari Vows to Advocate Publicly for Legislation Against Child Marriage 
        ……. Adolescent girls should be empowered – UNICEF

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By Alex Uangbaoje ‎

Wife of the Nigerian president ‎Mrs. Aisha Buhari has promised to publicly advocate ‎for legislation against child marriage. 

She made the pledge in an interactive session ‎during an advocacy visit of fifty adolescent girls to her office in an event to commemorate ‎this year’s International Day of the Girl Child‎.‎

‎She encouraged parents to keep their daughters in school for at least 12 years. Saying “No single girl will be left behind in my movement to get every girl into school‎.”

The theme of year’s day of the girl in is “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030” while United Nations Children’s Fund (‎UNICEF) and other partners including the Federal Ministry of Education focused their activities on “the transforming power of education to empower adolescent girls to overcome all challenges that affect their lives and inhibit their prospects of advancement.‎”

‎The 2013 National Demographic Health Survey has it that, there are about 20 million adolescent girls in Nigeria and there is very low education rates among them especially those in the lowest wealth quintiles in the society. 

It futher shows in Nigeria 60% of the 10.5million children out of school are girls. Data indicate that among other factors one reason for low enrolment and retention of girls in schools especially in the north is the lack of female teachers in the rural areas.
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‎In his response, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, ‎Jean Gough‎ said “Adolescent girls should be empowered through deliberate policies to transform their lives and those around them. Young girls who are educated are better placed to improve their own and their children’s health and chances of survival, and boost their work prospects.
 
“Investing in high quality girls’ education, prepare girls for life, jobs, and leadership. It directly translates into the girls being powerful and positive change agents of development.‎

‎”UNICEF with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and counterpart funding from five participating States started the Girls’ Education Project. The Girls’ Education ProjectPhase 3(GEP3) aims to achieve one million enrolment of girls into school by the end of the year 2020.

‎”The project is currently running in five Northern States of Nigeria: Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara. Since implementation commenced in 2012, the project has contributed to the enrolment of additional 360,000 girls in primary schools in the five states.‎”

‎Highpoint of the event was the investiture of Mrs. Aisha Buhari as the Grand Patron, High Level Women Advocates for Girls Education in Nigeria.

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