A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Plan International Nigeria, has deepened its push for the empowerment of girls and their involvement in political decisions as they play a vital role in the development of the society.
Gunvor Kronman, the Board Chair of Plan International, made the push on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Global Girls Summit in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl.
According to him, the summit was initiated in 2018 as part of Plan International’s Global ‘Girls Equality Campaign’, a collective effort to create, catalyse and energise a global movement for girls’ rights.
He said the 2022 Global Girls Summit is intended to be a multicultural, inter-generational space for expression, advocacy and action.
“It will bring together girls and young people across Nigeria, and around the world, decision-makers, civil society organizations and all those involved in solidarity. It will feature the launch of our annual State of the World Girls Report (SOTWGR).
“This year’s summit and report is about women’s and girls participation in political decisions and the message is very clear; we need more female decision makers in the world at all levels and that’s true for Africa, that’s true for Nigeria and we hope by the global summit with fantastic youth activists from 17 African countries that today, will bring this message back to their home countries and they will feel encouraged to continue to be very empowered activists as they are”, he explained.
Also speaking shortly after the launch of the 2022 SOTWGR as part of the event, the Chief Executive Officer of Electher, Ibijoke Faborode said there was a correlation between deeper women involvement in national affairs and the improvement of social consciousness.
To this end, she said it was important for the nation to prioritize the needs of girls and also understand where policy plays a role in achieving that.
She said the time has come to tackle the challenges of poverty and unemployment, which affect lots of women in Africa.
She noted that most capital projects undertaken by African nations do really focus on social issues.
“So, when you are speaking to an average girl on bullying, body shaming, violence, the lead experiences do not match the policies that are being created for them and I think the essence of this summit is important for policy makers, for government to really understand what the girls want because democracy is for the people, of the people and by the people.
“So, I am really hoping it is not going to end up a piece of document that people are going to look at but that government, legislatures and policy makers, the media will really speak about it to make an informed decisions on what really matters to the young girls, young women and children across the world so that we can have improved outcomes when it comes to socio-economic progression”, she added.
Also contributing, Oumou Yanogue from Mali, described the summit as a morale booster that will give an additional impetus to women.
“Women empowerment is going to occupy a pride of place and our expectations of this summit is that it will be able to shape the women’s world view and ensure they contribute to growth.