As the world marks the international day of the girl child today with the theme “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being”, the Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria) has called on parents and governments at all levels to empower the girl child for leadership and well-being.

In a statement released in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, signed by its Women and Girls Rights Advocacy Ambassador, Ochor Ruth Udoka, as part of activities marking the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child, the organization stated that empowering the girl child entails breaking barriers that limit their opportunities, including harmful gender stereotypes that continue to restrict their aspirations, abusive, harmful practices like child marriage that limit their life choices with complicated childbirth, domestic violence, and a lack of access to education, among others.

“The opportunity for the girl child to actualize their potential, prospects, and economic independence must be guaranteed as part of the investment in the girl child. We must ensure that every girl child has an opportunity to learn and fulfill her potential.

Gender-based violence that has profound and lasting effects on their physical and emotional well-being must be discouraged, and we must stand against all forms of challenges and biases against the child to create a world where every girl can dare to dream and achieve her dreams”. The statement reads:

In his message to the girl-child on the 2023 International Day of the Girl-Child captured in the statement, the Executive Director of Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, recalled the words of the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, that “We cannot succeed when half of us is held back” in line with YEAC-Nigeria’s core value of “Leaving No One Behind”, thus assuring the girl-child of involvement in the organization’s activities and opportunities to better their lots.

The Women and Girls Rights Advocacy Ambassador, Miss Udoka, stresses further that “the path to empowering the girl child is not a solo journey; it is a collective endeavour that requires the involvement of governments, communities, families, and individuals like you and me. Each one of us has a role to play in ensuring that every girl or child has the chance to reach for the stars”.

Miss Udoka thus called for an end to barriers that restrict the girl child, investing in the girl child, and improving their well-being as a demonstration of our leadership as parents and government at all levels. Adding that together, we can light the path to a more equitable and inclusive world for girls everywhere”.

Ochor Ruth Udoka
Women and Girls Rights Advocacy Ambassador,
October 11, 2023