THE Federal Government has been urged to provide free and compulsory education from primary to secondary school for every girl child in the country and stop early marriage.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen made the call Friday, in the one million girls match for free and compulsory quality education for all girls in commemoration of the International Day of Girl Child in Abuja.
Tallen appealed to all Nigerians to support the girl child to achieve their potential while she condemned all forms of violence against women and early marriage.
Stressing that the government is fully committed to protect the rights of every girl child, Tallen appealed to religious, traditional and community leaders, parents among other stakeholders to support the campaign to ensure that the girl child is educated and protected.
The minister said within the the ministries of education and sports are fully involved in the project through inter-ministerial committees to get develop strategies to encourage the girl child to access education.
Meanwhile, the UN Country Representative to Nigeria, Ms. Comfort Lamptey, said the UN is doing a lot in Nigeria on how to address the issue of early marriage and other harmful traditional practices.
“For a country to realise its full development potential, we have to invest in the girl and we are supporting the ministry and Nigeria in general through the spotlight initiatives.
Lamptey advised the country to invest in the girl, so that they can build a better future for the country because, “when these girls grow to be mothers, they will also bring up healthier children,” she said.
Noting that it is the right of the girl to be educated, she said that “the International day for girl child is an opportunity to remind ourselves of what we are committing to and make sure that we contribute in our own small ways.”
Dr Mairo Mandara, the organiser of Keeping Girl in School Initiative (KGIS), said relevant market skills should be taught and introduced in schools to make the girl child employable after secondary school because not all of them will go to tertiary institution.
Mandara said that the girls are tired of anything else other than being students until they finished secondary school as she commended the president, minister, UN and other stakeholders for helping the girl.