By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
The need to educate a girl-child across the country especially in the northern part of Nigeria has been stressed and must be given proper attention by all.
Blessing Okeke made the call to the participants at the three-day capacity building workshop for Kaduna-Based Media, Civil Society of Organization, Non-Governmental Organization and Faith-Based Organizations during her paper presentation,which is championed by the Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) and Voice to the People (V2P) Project in collaboration with Christian Aid Nigeria and Development Communications (DEVCOMS) Network in Kaduna State, North-West, Nigeria on Monday.
Blessing Okeke emphasized that the number of women who are stack illiterate in sub-Sahara Africa , Nigeria topped the list while northern Nigeria contributed the highest percent of that rate in 7 digit figures.
Already, she said, inadequate and lack of secondary schools in some rural communities pose a big threat to education of a girl-child in such communities, saying this means a girl-child living in towns and cities have greater opportunity to be in school than her counterparts in the villages.
“Here in the North due to various reasons, we want female doctors to examine our wives, sisters, daughters and mothers. We want female teachers to teach them and even if possible, we want female professional drivers to drive them around”, a participant said during the training.
“But most of these requests can only happen when parents, policymakers and girls themselves agree to acquire both religion and western education at least up to the level they can effectively and confidently offer these services and many others.
Blessing Okeke informed that this single barrier has contributed to a situation whereby one out of every three women in North-west Nigeria for instance attend primary school which has added up to illiteracy rate among women in Nigeria with Kaduna having 35-50 percent women illiteracy rate.
It was against this backdrop that CAAGI and V2P projects were launched in Kaduna to see how they can help the people to understand the importance of girl-child education and then make their voice heard on barriers limiting them and how to overcome such identified barriers collectively in their own interest and that of coming generations.