A non-governmental organisation (NGO) Graced for Active Progress (GAP) Empowerment Initiative in Nigeria has tasked Nigerian girls and women to work hard towards attaining their full potential particularly in science and technology.
GAP Empowerment Initiative in Nigeria, which was founded by Dr. Grace John-Ugwuanya, in commemoration of the day of the girl- child global event, organised the “Glow With Grace Summit 2019” to celebrate the date with women and young girls, especially those in secondary schools and tertiary institutions with the aim of creating a strong awareness.
Speaking with newsmen at the event which held at the Kaduna State University (KASU) on Monday, Grace, said the event aimed to create a platform that will bring together, girls and women from different cadre in Kaduna state.
She urged the girls to seek education and avoid anything that could hinder their progress and stop them from reaching their full potential such as early marriage, stigmatisation and others.
According to Dr Grace, “our vision is to raise and empower a new generation of girls/ladies that have a drive towards excellence as they navigate in different aspects of their lives. We want a new crop of girls and women who are skilled in software engineering, aviation, medical research, artificial intelligence and relevant soft skills that will enable them to be integrated fully in today’s digital society.
“We are beginning to observe a decline in early marriage, improvement in skills acquisition, more attention in reproductive and sexual health and even a gradual increase in number of women represented in politics,” she stated.
Revealing further, the GAP Empowerment Initiative in Nigeria founder said, “the theme for the International Day for the Girl Child 2019 is “Girl Force: Unscripted and Unstoppable”. We desire that in Kaduna state and Nigeria as a whole, there will be a new crop of girls and women who will break out beyond the status quo and become a force to reckon with.
“We are pressing for a fast decline in child marriage because it stagnates the girl-child from pursuing her education while her male counterpart is progressing. In the long run, she doesn’t develop her mental capacity; seek relevance in the society, not to mention the associated health risks with child-marriage.
“Let us not forget about low self-esteem that has plagued many girls due to gender-based violence and other unpleasant circumstances that they may have been exposed to. Remember, a girl who does not believe in herself and has no confidence in her abilities, will transit into a woman who believes that she does not deserve the best,” she stated.
Reacting to the recognition accorded to women in the Kaduna state government under the el-Rufai administration, Dr. John-Ugwuanya, said, “we won’t forget to appreciate the Governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai for having a good representation of women in his cabinet.”
Dr. Grace, who kicked against rampant cases of rape, sexual abuse, sexual molestation and exploitation, lamented, “previously, we talked about those who live a promiscuous lifestyle; but how do you explain a one-month old baby raped by a 50 years old man? What about the serial killing of girls who are raped, killed and dumped? We have also had innocent girls who have been kidnapped, raped and killed”.