UNICEF Urges Nigeria To Increase Investment In Adolescent Girls


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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) as part of activities to mark this year’s International Day of the Girl Child has urged Nigeria to scale up investment in its adolescent girls.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, UNICEF averred that
the focus on the well-being and rights of all, especially girls has become even more critical as we approach the midpoint of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) journey.

It said, despite the strides made, the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2023 indicated a sobering 131 years before full gender parity would be achieved.

UNICEF noted that, the current global landscape, marked by resistance to gender equality and multifaceted crises further jeopardized the rights of adolescent girls, putting the vision of a just world for all at risk.

Reiterating the need to provide the right support for girls to achieve their full potential, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate said, “The potential of our girls is limitless, but we must first provide them with the platforms to express, learn, and thrive.
Our commitment to this cause is unwavering and paramount for the nation’s progress”.

She further added, “in a rapidly evolving world, the dreams and aspirations of our adolescent girls are the beacons that can guide our efforts towards a more inclusive, equitable future.”

According to the statement, the stakes are high for an estimated 26 million adolescent girls (ages 10-19) in Nigeria.

It read in part: “To ensure Nigeria remained on course for the 2030 SDGs, the spotlight must shine brightest on its girls, especially those marginalized due to disability, poverty, or crises, and those who are pregnant, parenting, or married.

“Our collective responsibility extends to championing girls’ education, preventing harmful cultural practices, advancing menstrual hygiene, offering tailored health services, and meeting the nutritional requirements of these young ladies.

“While the terrain might be fraught with challenges, there’s hope. Nigeria’s adolescent girls are not passive bystanders but active agents of change, driving transformative initiatives in their communities. The time has come for their voices to echo louder in the halls of decision-making. Girls from UNICEF’s programme in Katsina and Sokoto, for instance, have put forth actionable demands—ranging from life skills training and accessible digital devices to the critical involvement of fathers in girls’ education.

“On this International Day of the Girl, UNICEF Nigeria calls for renewed vigor in safeguarding and fostering the rights of adolescent girls. Their boundless potential deserves nothing less than the country’s utmost commitment and investment”.


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