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Int Day of the Girl: CITAD Advocates Free Space for Girl Child Against Gender Based Violence


By Yakubu Salisu, Kano

As the world marks the 2020 International Day of the Girl Child themed “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, a kano based Non Governmental Organization, Centre for Information Technology (CITAD) has tasked stakeholders at national, state and local level to work together towards eliminating gender violence and discrimination against girls especially rape, to enable them live in a space free from gender-based violence and harmful practices.

According to Maryam Ado Haruna
Programme Officer, Gender and Internet Advocacy (CITAD) there is the need to promote and protect the rights of girls, right to education and expression, as well as providing them with equal opportunities for skills development and training.

This she said will enable them learn new skills towards the futures they choose as empowering girls to become independent and self-reliant to protect themselves from poverty and other forms of discrimination will bridge the gender digital gap by enabling access and affordability for them to enjoy the benefits ICT can offer to them.

She noted that in the past, the Centre has made series of efforts aimed at reducing gender-based violence and discrimination as well as protecting girl child rights especially right to education and freedom of expression.

These efforts according to the Program Officer include; Online and offline awareness creation for the society on the importance of girl child education and digital literacy skills, training and mentoring of girls and young women on different skills especially digital skills for self and financial independence.

Others are, providing empowerment opportunities for girls and young women, including soft loan employability training, business documentation mentorship and support, series of campaigns against violation of girl child right especially rape, child labour and other forms of domestic violence as well as advocating to key stakeholders on enabling internet access and affordability as well as bridging gender digital gap.

Haruna stated that at CITAD, it is believed that protecting the girl child is the responsibility of all stakeholders including government and its relevant agencies/ministries, school managements and teachers, security and CSOs, traditional and religious leaders, media and parents among others.

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Thus, the need for collective as well as individual efforts together to help in reshaping the world to become a better and safer place for our girls.

Furthermore, CITAD recommend that: government ensure the full implementation of the Child Rights Act.

They also call on State governments that have not domesticated the Child Rights Act to do so without further delay and to ensure effective implementation.

CITAD pleads with parents to ensure not only enrolment of their girl child into schools, but also ensure the completion of at least, basic education (primary and secondary education).

All stakeholders and Citizens including women groups, CSOs and members of the society should play their role in putting eyes on moral discipline and protection of girl child from violation of rights and any form of child abuse.

Parents must ensure the provision of their family needs and especially that of the girl child.

Teachers and parents should provide mentorship for their girl child/student on how to protect herself and respond to abuse.

Finally, parents and school managements should ensure the provisions of sanitary pads for adolescent girls.

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