The United Nations has advocated the eradication of certain cultural practices that undermine the rights of the child and prevent the girl child from maximising her full potentials.
The position was canvassed by the representative of the UN Women, Mr Peter Mancha, at a seminar organised by the Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace in Abuja.
Mancha who spoke on the theme, “Gender and Child Rights”, noted that the seminar was in line the mandate of the UN, said the workshop would address the challenges of the girl child who would eventually grow into a woman.
He stated that so many things including some cultural practices have stopped girls from maximising their potentials.
“The seminar falls in line with the mandate of the UN women; It will address the cares of the girl child who will grow into a woman. So many things stop girls from maximising their potentials. Culture is dynamic and it is one of those things that hinder the maximisation of the girl child’s potentials. Any culture that undermines the right of a woman should be eradicated.”
Co-chairman for the event, Alhaji Sanni Kunle said the organisation is training Muslim and Christian women to know their rights for effective gender equality. Kunle said the seminar was aimed at developing and raising consciousness on women and child’s right and also discussed practical ways of promoting the honour and protection of women in the society.
According to Kunle, women are not meant to be beaten neither should they face all kind of abuses by their husband.
“This programme should have been organised since last year but because of logistics reason we shifted it to this year. Women must know their right.”
“Her feeding, clothing, where she is sleeping the man that must pay for it. In our society today, if a woman want to exercise her right, the man bring in another woman.
“A Muslim woman should know that cooking for her husband is not the right of the man. In fact, he is supposed to pay her. If she is sucking the child, he must pay. There must be a balancing in everything we do,” Kunle added.
The chairperson, committee on Gender and Child Right of the Interfaith group, Hajiya Salamatu Ibrahim said if women know their rights, the society would be better.According to Salamatu, the workshop was timely as it will expose women to some of their rights.
In a goodwill message by the chairperson, women wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Deaconess Victoria Bola Ihesiulor, held that since 2003 when the Child’s Right Act was adopted by the Federal Government of Nigeria , 24 states out 36 states of the federation have passed it as a state law.
Represented by Florence Dada, Ihesiulor noted that it “is a source of concern as children are vulnerable and need laws that protect their interest.”
He stated that the Christian Holy book, the Bible as well as the Quran speak against the violation of the rights to the protection of the child, enjoining both moslem and Christian faithful to have a key role in ensuring a safer space for their children.”
He stated that the faithful of the religions “are saddled with the responsibility as human beings to create and sustain a safer world for the children.”