By EMMANUEL MGBEAHURIKE, Owerri
UNICEF has stressed that the organization would remain resolute and committed towards the protection and propagation of the rights and privileges of children and work assiduously with relevant Federal Government Agencies, so as to ensure accountability, ownership and sustainability.
This assurance was given by, UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Enugu, Dr. Ibrahim Conteh at the 2020 commemoration of global observances of the International Day of the Girl Child, held at Bishop Lasbery Girls Secondary School, Owerri, Imo state.
According to him, as one of the UN’s agencies saddened with the responsibility of managing the affairs of children, UNICEF is poised to eliminate all obstacles impeding the development, socialization and emancipation of the Girl Child from all forms of discrimination. He challenged the Girl Child to rise up to the occasion and aim for the top so as to reckon with in the scheme of things globally.
His words, “many countries today have women as Presidents and Rwanda has emerged as the country with the highest number of female lawmakers in the country. You can do better if you put your mind to work and work towards being independent”.
Dr. Conteh listed the objectives of the ceremony which has the theme “Our Voice, Our Equal Future” to include: enhancing participants’ knowledge on the current efforts to end the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Imo and Ebonyi states, provision of a platform for the participants to discuss the theme of the year and to provide information of service providers to victims of FGM and where those of at risk could seek assistance in Ebonyi state with the support of the school.
Dr. Conteh who was represented by the UNICEF, consultant for Imo and Ebonyi states, Benjamin Mbakwem, called on Parents/Guardians to always provide equal opportunities for their children, to enable them to realize their full potentials as leaders of tomorrow and enjoined the girl child to always report cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to the school authorities for onward transmission to the relevant authorities.
Speaking, the Chairperson, International Federation of Women lawyers (FIDA) Imo state branch, Barr. Chisara Egwim – Chima – explained that the body (FIDA) would continue to participate in public hearings and community advocacy visits in the onslaught against FGM as well as in the implementation of the relevant laws against this obnoxious practice.
The FIDA Chairperson however, expressed optimism at the progress recorded in the fight against FGM and advised parents and Guardians still enmeshed in this ugly trend to desist from this nefarious and inhuman exercise, so as to allow the girl child to grow according to how she was created from inception.