Chief Operations Officer, GAMSU
Recently, I discovered that there exists a gender gap in internet use. According to UN Women, men have more access to the internet and other communication technology and resources, than women do. And this is a gap that gets wider every day. One can only imagine the disadvantage this brings in a world that is quickly becoming digitalised.
About 60% of the unemployed young people in the world are women. The same percentage cuts across indices of illiteracy, particularly in Nigeria. And it is fair to say that a largely patriarchal set-up over the years has put women back in the scope of things.
In recent years however, we have seen a young crop of women defying the odds, and taking the fight for equality to the wire. This is not a demand for hand-outs, but a consistent display of brilliance, intelligence, skill and ability, a perseverance that gets things done, and provides a reliable impact on society. For their ability, the world is beginning to take notice of the fact that there should never have been the problem of inequality in the first place. Nothing proves that the female folk do not deserve equal opportunities to excel in society.
Women are not taking the backstage anymore. And this is why I believe that for every girl child out there, there is hope.
A new path is opening up, and opportunities are widening. For every defeated girl, there is the hope of a rise. People are working assiduously to ensure that every one is treated fairly and equally.
I celebrate a girl force that is rising today, actively participating in politics and governance, fighting corruption, violence, and injustice. More girls are, against the odds, “turning up” to the globalisation party, engaging in technology advancement and helping to solve society’s problems.
We, at GAMSU, are proud to have begun efforts to ensure that girls are not left out. We have made sure that our programmes and policies give equal opportunities to girls. Over the course of 2018, we have provided the gateway for over 50 girls to access academic research, higher education, and skill acquisition, including computer coding ability. We hope to do much more.
No doubt, the girl child requires attention. In the face of worsening illiteracy, and an unprecedented unemployment rate, society needs to take urgent action to ensure that the girl child is lifted to normal ground.
We must begin to remove the challenges that hinder girl-child education. For this, many must realise that the girl child has the capacity to learn, and can significantly improve the society. There is no justifiable basis for the girl child to be left out. The placement of women in the society means that, well educated, they can provide enlightened lifestyles for members of their community.
With adequate skills, the girl-child has the opportunity to improve her capacity for work. This no doubt will manifest in improved economic circumstances for families, and a more productive human capital for the community.
The statistics may be bleak, but the movement is strong. With the support of everyone, the girl-child will break through all odds and advance.
We will all be the better for it, because every opportunity open to girls is a window for the advancement of society.