The Mothers And Marginalised Advocacy Centre (MAMA Centre) commemorates the International Day of Girl Child 2022, themed “Our time is now our right, our future”.
We on this Day, we commend all levels of positive actions taken at International, national, states and individuals towards the domestication and implementation of specific legal provisions targeted at securing a better future for girl child in the past decade.
We also acknowledge and applaud states, which have domesticated and to extent implemented the Child Right Act.
Just as we are seriously worried by the emerging development and deliberate political or legislative efforts to frustrate progress at bringing rights of girls to limelight in some states. This includes unpatriotic actions by some State Houses of Assembly to delay passage or withhold gazette of the Child Right Bills or related legislative frameworks.
We are not unaware of various undemocratic and deliberately created policies found especially in education, to hamper girl child’s education enrolment, progess and attainment at sub-national levels. This includes those surfacing in disproportionate entrance cut-off marks, age grades, financial supports, teaching inequalities, among others challenges that widen the overall educational inequality in Nigeria.
Moreover, we are disappointed at the growing inequality reported in Science, Mathematics and Technology enrolment and attainment across the country, where girls are marginalised.
We cannot conceal the fact that Early Child Marriage constitutes a major impediment to realisation of better future for the girl child and passage of enabling legislation at sub-national levels.
We on this note hold a strong advocacy and reiterate our condemnation of all lopsided socio-cultural factors militating against appropriate cognitive, emotional and physical development, and grossly prosperous future of girls.
We therefore, demand more sustainable legislative commitment and full implementation of existing laws to secure the lives, dignity, prosperity and future of the girls at all levels.
We call for development of strong tracking and monitoring mechanisms on the domestication and implementation levels of various ratified conventions on the rights of Nigerian child by the global, continental and regional authorities; with appropriate sanctions against unjustified defaults.
We encourage all levels government includes the State Houses of Assembly to prioritise the rights and future of girls in Nigeria through appreciable and genuine political will to demonstrate their commitments to democracy and social justice.
We also demand immediate removal of all impeding policies and sociocultural barriers militating against the girl child education and cognitive development.
Executive Director, MAMA Centre