By Ralph Madugu
“I am tired and heartbroken by the numbers of little women that never became the persons that God wanted them to be.”
Those were the words of the National President of the Association of Christian Schools of Nigeria, (ACSN), Dr. Mrs. Ekaete Etang on the occasion of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child.
The theme for this years’ commemoration is “Digital generation. Our generation” celebrated on October 11 every year across the world. it was declared by the UN to amplify the voices of young girls around the world and increase awareness of issues faced by them.
Mrs. Etang who spoke exclusively to Today’s Challenge Magazine decried the situation where many young girls and women have become objects to be used and dumbed, rejected and dejected adding that some others have lost the heart of a mother.
“No! No! This must stop!
“I celebrate every woman as God’s princess, the conscience of family and nation, the apple of God’s eyes, the beauty the world is eager to see emerge gloriously. The world does not know the depth or beauty of God’s investment in your life but Christ has what it takes to win the battles of life.”
Mrs. Etang while admonishing girls to rise up from being victims to victors of culture, reject the wrong model of womanhood advertised in every nook and cranny adding that God intends to make the girl child into a “new brand of womanhood, a masterpiece.
She said, “The empowered brand; the glorious brand; the peculiar brand; the holy brand and much more. There is need to intentionally receive the quality of life that comes from Jesus and submit to the training from godly mothers in order to have a mother’s heart.
“God is for you, because I know that God has a beautiful plan for every woman He created.”
Mrs. Etang said while there are some cultural practices that make for good values for in womanhood that needed to be revived, there are others that tend to reject, demean or torture women hence such practices must be discouraged.
Meanwhile, there are over 1.3 million Nigerian adolescent girls who drop out of school every year before reaching the last year of lower secondary education.
These girls the UNICEF Representative noted are particularly vulnerable to societal dynamics that limit their transition from primary to secondary schools.
Speaking in Abuja during the celebration of the day, Deputy Country Representative of the United Nations International Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Rushman Murzata added that the education systems in Nigeria also have limited capacity to support girls access to secondary education.
To mark also mark the day, Nigerian children took over the offices of the Ministers of Women Affairs and Education to demand for digital opportunities for girls and an end to Gender Based Violence.
These children made their demands while occupying the seats of the ministers for 30 minutes as part of events to mark the IDGC.