To end child marriage, invest in a skilled ‘GirlForce’ says Envision Global Care Foundation on International Day of the Girl
11 October, 2018
As the world celebrates International Day of the Girl on 11 October, Envision Global Care Foundation is calling for greater investments to improve girls’ education, skills, and job prospects in Nigeria, and stressed that increasing the economic productivity of girls is critical to ending girl child marriage.
Ms. Chinonyerem Ndukwe, Program Director of Envision Global Care Foundation, said that girls need to be empowered by sending them to school so that they can acquire relevent knowledge and skills to compete favourably in the workforce and have a fulfilled life as they desire.
“The less privileged and vulnerable groups are prone to being victims of early marriages/births, sexual abuse and poor career choices due to unforeseen circumstances, socio-economic inequities, harmful traditional practices or the untoward effects of socio-cultural activities” Ndukwe said.
However, increasing girls’ participation in the workforce or businesses of their choice will depend much on the opportunity they are given to have formal education and acquire trainings and skills. Child marriage, early motherhood and gender-based violence must stop, added Ms. Chinonyerem Ndukwe.
Every year, 12 million girls are married globally before the age of 18, depriving them of their rights to education, health and a life of their choosing. In Nigeria, 43% of girls are married off before their 18th birthday. 17% are married before they turn 15.
Evidence shows that girls who attend secondary school are three times less likely to be child brides. They also have better economic prospects, fewer and healthier children, and are more likely to ensure that their own children are not married.
Lakshmi Sundaram, Executive Director of Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of over 1000 civil society organisations committed to ending child marriage, said: “Investing in efforts to end child marriage isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also smart economics. When girls are educated instead of being married young, and have opportunities to earn an income, they are more likely to lead happier, healthier lives, and to contribute to the growth and development of their communities. Ending child marriage has to be a critical part of creating a ‘GirlForce’ of empowered girls, and to help ensure we meet our global development goals.”
Under the theme, With Her: A Skilled GirlForce, International Day of the Girl will highlight the importance of providing girls around the world with the skills and training they need to secure decent work or start a business. To mark the day, Envision Global Care Foundation will kick off a mentorship program called “care club” in government secondary schools in Abuja, Nigeria. This programs is aimed at providing a watchful eye (mentor) to guide girls in their daily choices for a period of time and will give them a sense of responsibility, shield them from distractions, and provide a pathfinder mechanism for what is important in life. As part of our vision to care and advocate for the less privileged and vulnerable groups, the Foundation chose the public-school system based on the fact that most of the girls come from homes of the lower social class, including some house helps.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Envision Global Care Foundation.
Notes to editors
Envision Global Care Foundation is a member of Girls Not Brides, a global partnership of more than 1000 civil society organisations from over 97 countries committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential. For more information visit www.envisionglobalcare.org
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