Education; Key to Girl Child Empowerment

Abuja, Nigeria. October 9, 2018. The United Nation’s International Day of the Girl Child is commemorated annually on the 11th of October. The main aim of the day is to promote girls' empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights while also highlighting and addressing the needs and the challenges that girls all over the world face. The theme for the 2018 commemoration is ‘‘With Her: A Skilled GirlForce’’. Under this theme, the Day will mark the beginning of a year-long effort to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability. This can be achieved through expanding existing learning opportunities, charting new pathways and calling on the global community to rethink how to prepare girls for a successful transition into the world of work.[1] 

In commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child, NOIPolls presents a throwback from its previous public opinion poll conducted in 2017, which highlighted the perception of Nigerians on the importance of Girl Child Education and the factors militating against it in Nigeria. The poll revealed that almost all the respondents (99 percent) acknowledged that Girl Child Education is important to their community as shown in the chart below. This is impressive considering the fact that the girl child needs to be educated in order to acquire the requisite knowledge and skills needed to advance her status for social interactions and self-improvement.

The poll also sought the opinion of Nigerians on the factors militating against girl child education in Nigeria and a greater fraction of the respondents (28 percent) cited poverty as a major factor militating against girl child education. This is not surprising as poverty has been one of the most disturbing economic issues ravaging the entire sub-Saharan Africa. With about 67 percent of Nigerians living in poverty,[2] parents will be faced with challenges of making a choice of sacrificing the education of some of their children which is usually the girl child. 

Another social problem mentioned by 20 percent is the one posed by culture and tradition. Some traditions stipulate that a woman’s place is in her husband’s kitchen and her primary role is centered around her home. These beliefs have kept many girls away from education as such families’ see investment in girl child education as a waste. Even after some girls narrowly get the education, they face social and cultural barriers to obtaining leadership and management functions because they are women.

In conclusion, it is evident from the poll that girl child education is of great importance to communities in Nigeria. Girl child education enables the girl utilize her full potentials, broadens her mind, prepares her for the challenges of life and teaches her how to conquer them; she is given the confidence to discover who and what she wants to be. While the importance of education to girl child empowerment in the Nigerian society cannot be over emphasized, there is a need for closer attention to be paid on the factors militating against girl child education. Achieving this would in turn require an emphasis on good governance and inclusiveness, as well as a general promotion of policies on gender equality, rural development, poverty alleviation, societal re-orientation, and job creation. 

Finally, girl child empowerment, as highlighted in the theme for this year's observance, should therefore start from a heightened awareness on the importance of girl child education and empowerment. It is also important that international organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders support and invest in girls by transforming the risks and deprivations they face into pathways towards a better life. This will ensure a future assured with better health, less infant diseases and deaths as well as achieving other Sustainable Development Goals. 

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published. 

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact orfor any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking. 

 

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[1] http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/

[2] https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/01/67-nigerians-live-poverty-line-presidential-aide/