As Africa celebrates the Day of the African Child today, UNICEF in partnership with Nigeria’s education ministry, has launched the Girls for Girls (G4G) initiative, which empowers girls with information and knowledge to help build their capacity to stand up for themselves aimed at creating equal opportunities for girls to access education.
This year’s Day of the African Child (DAC) 2017 is being commemorated on the theme “The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for Children in Africa: Accelerating protection, empowerment and equal opportunity”.
“With today’s commemoration of the Day of the African Child focusing on empowerment and equal opportunity for the African child, the launch is timely especially for the girl child whose fortunes are not nearly as bright as for boys,” said a UNICEF press statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
“The G4G initiative is a commitment to improve the quality of girls’ and ultimately women’s lives by empowering girls through education”, said Mohamed Fall UNICEF Representative in Nigeria. “By educating girls, practices such as early marriage will be uprooted and girls will be empowered to contribute to the development of their communities, states and Nigeria,’ he noted.
The G4G initiative is a component of the Girls’ Education Project Phase 3 being implemented in northern Nigeria via collaboration between UNICEF Nigeria and the Federal Government of Nigeria with funding from the United Kingdom (UK) Department of International Development (DFID).
This phase of the Girls Education Project seeks to help put 1 million girls in school, support them to remain in school and improve their learning achievement. The focus states have the highest number of girls who do not attend school in Nigeria.
The DAC is commemorated every year on 16th June in memory of the 16th June 1976 student uprising in Soweto, South Africa, during which students who marched in protest against the poor quality of education were massacred by the then apartheid regime in place in South Africa.