A chieftain of the Girls Guide movement, Mrs. Abimbola Ayanwale, has lamented that despite the widely-celebrated adoption of the Beijing Declaration, Platform for Action and the passage of the Convention on the Rights of the Girl-Child in 1990, many of the commitments made to girls, they are still being discriminated against in the society. Mrs. Ayanwale stated that “Every year, 12 million girls under the age of 18 are married off, 130 million girls worldwide are still out of school, and approximately 15 million adolescent girls with ages ranging between 15 and 19 have experienced forced sex”.
Mrs. Ayanwale, who is the District Commissioner, Girls Guide, Odeda area, made the call during the celebration of the International Day of Girl Child with the theme “Girls! Unscripted and Unstoppable” adding that, October 11 every year had been set aside by the United Nations Women, to celebrate girls. Mrs. Ayanwale, who teaches at the FUNAAB International School (FUNIS), said the campaign was to wake-up the girl-child, to assert their rights. She encouraged the girl-child to live up to expectations and that they also have equal rights like the boys. She further called on government and other stakeholders, to support girls and that more laws should be promulgated to protect their interest.
The Guest Speaker, Mr. Lanre Irhieme said sexual misconduct could occur where one person uses a position of authority to compel another person to engage in unwanted sexual activity, adding that sexual harassment in schools might involve a student submitting to sexual advances of a person in authority for fear of being punished or marked down. He advised girls to value their bodies, noting that the virginity of a girl was the most important thing in her life. He stressed that the girl-child must learn how to speak out and also learn the art of self-defense against sexual abuse. He appealed to parents, most especially mothers and teachers, to draw the girl-child closer to them, to repose trust and confidence in them.
Dr. Bukola Oladoyinbo of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) of FUNAAB, urged them to do anything within their capacity to be unstoppable, to achieve greatness in life. A student of FUNIS, Soliat Atayese , said the girl-child has talents, which the world should see, advising that ridiculing the girl-child as being weak should stop, as they should be treated the same way as boys.