The International Day of the Girl Child was observed few days ago. The theme of this year is, “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.” Dr Yetunde Olagbuji, a consultant public health physician shared her thoughts on the theme. Enjoy reading…
Hurray, October 11 is here again. A day set aside globally to celebrate the girl child and to remind all stakeholders to invest in the physical, emotional, psychological, mental, social, economic well-being of the Girl Child.
Let us just imagine a world without the Girl Child!. Certainly, a world with no female children will be as stagnant as the pool waters. Likewise, a society that does not protect the rights and invest in the health and development of the Girl Child will be likened to an unproductive and a retrogressive one.
A girl child just like the male counterpart has a right to education, health, life, survival and development, freedom from discrimination and oppression, right to protection from physical or mental abuse, freedom from exploitation and harmful influences, right to full participation in family, cultural and social life.
A girl child has a voice, she is not anyone’s property, she is not suppossed to be trampled under feet by her fellow individuals.
A girl child should be loved, cared for, and her esteem and confidence should be built. She should be involved in problem solving and decision making at all levels (home, school, religious institutions, politics, etc). She should be economically empowered and her leadership skill should be intentionally developed because a girl child/woman has the natural ability to reproduce in multiple folds whatever is given to her. In essence, a nation that wishes for rapid development should formulate policies and invest in programs that will promote the health and total well-being of the Girl Child as well as protect her rights.
The home, the school, religious settings, workplace, and all other institutions, societies and nations can experience growth and development in geometric proportion if all the involved parties are treated with justice and fairness with no prejudice.
A Girl Child has nations within her and gifted with natural abilities. However, she will only be productive and positively impact the nations within her if she thrives in an environment that promotes her health and development as well as her total well-being.
Therefore, all stakeholders have critical roles to play to change the bad cultural and religious beliefs and practices that deny the Girl Child of her RIGHTS.
TO ATTAIN SUSTAINABLE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.
Happy International Day of the Girl Child.
Dr Yetunde Olagbuji, a Consultant Public Health Physician & Adolescent Health Expert writes from Akure, the Ondo state capital.
Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.