Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Princess Adebisi Sosan, has encouraged young girls in the Nigerian society to tap into the many unique opportunities that abound around them as a platform to soar high in their desired goals in life.
Princess Sosan gave the charge recently in her address as Chairperson at the International Day of the Girl Child, hosted in Nigeria by eBusiness Life Communications in Lagos with the theme: ‘The power of The Adolescent Girl: Vision For 2030’.
At the event, which attracted several schools from Lagos and its environs, the former Deputy Governor encouraged the girls to be bold and strong without waiting for opportunities to be handed to them, and taking up those opportunities confidently.
According to her, although there are a lot of challenges that plague girls in the African continent, girls should research and follow up on global trends, coupled with pursuant of relevant education and they will make the necessary difference that the society needs.
She further challenged them to make themselves relevant in all spheres of life and rise above the challenges that face them, and not to “advertise themselves through their dressing and talk mode.”
“You girls should also learn to encourage less privileged girls because the more the merrier. It’s about women supporting women, girls supporting girls. What boys can do, girls can do also, just offer yourselves to do those difficult tasks” She also told the girls to be “bold and strong and speak out,” Sosan said.
While applauding non-government organisations (NGOs) for offering platforms where girls can access aids, she also called on the public and private sectors to encourage girls by providing facilities to teach them, especially in public schools.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Tina Abdulateef, Public Sector Manager, Globacom, partners of the event, noted that girls have strong assertive attention and long attention span and can take in a lot of information at a time, which gives them an edge against boys. “These are qualities that can be used to excel”, she asserted.
She advised them to research things that will develop them in whatever career path they may choose.
In a bid to further encourage the students, Mr. Kinsley Inyang, Lead Consultant, IT Managed Services, Signal Alliance, who represented the Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Adanma Onuegbu, told the girls of the need not to relent in the pursuit of their endeavors. “Do not relent, strive hard, look high and you will get there.”
He said girls still have so much to contribute in the growth, development and global competitiveness of the country.
The students, during a panel discussion comprising representatives of five schools in attendance, expressed their concerns on the societal treatment of girls.
The panel discussion, themed “How human trafficking endangers the future of young girls” saw the girls raise issues against the handling by the government, families and friends, of girl victims of human trafficking and rape. They called on the government to ensure proper rehabilitation of victims and smooth integration into the society.
They also opined that government should take another concerned look at girls and their security, they should also infuse it into their campaign promises. They should not make false promises or lie to the victims. They charged Nigerians to stop stigmatizing victims and bring about due punishment for child trafficking and rape offenders.
While moderating the students’ panel, Chief Executive Officer of Customer Centricity Limited, Mrs. Uloma Umeano charged Nigerians to be their “brothers’ keepers”, encouraged undercover activities and whistle blowing, geared at fishing out traffickers.
“We should also show them (the victims) love and open our arms to them”
She further tasked the girls to learn to communicate with their parents, assuring them that “girls can grow to be strong women; therefore be confident of who you are, learn what knowledge capital is all about.”
In her opening remark, the convener and Chief executive Officer of eBusiness Life Communication, Mrs. Ufuoma Emuophedaro, explained that the International Day of the Girl Child is a campaign to spread awareness about issues faced by girls, especially in developing countries. “The main aims of the day are to promote girl empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights, while also highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face.”
According to her, issues that need to be addressed include access to education; gender bias, early marriage, sexual violence against girls among others.
Speaking further, she noted the need to equip the girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness. “Having role models will also be critical, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.”
By Patrick Aigbokhan