Strategic and stakeholders planning meeting on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) advocacy in Okigwe Zone, Imo State

As part of the activities of End FGM Advocacy Project, Devatop Centre for Africa Development with support from The Girl Generation, held a Strategic and Stakeholders Planning Meeting at Mbeke, Isiala Mbano, Imo State, on Saturday, 13th May, 2017. The convening was attended by representatives of Traditional Councils, Primary Health Centres, State Universal Basic Education Board, Women Associations, non-Governmental Organisations and Community Volunteers, who contributed immensely towards the development of project strategic and working documents.  

While addressing stakeholders, the project manager, Mr. Samson Nwosu Emeka, noted  that the project End FGM Advocacy is aimed at impacting villagers in Isiala Mbano LGA, Ehime Mbano LGA, Okigwe LGA, Oniumo LGA, Obowo LGA, and Ihitte Uboma LGA. He called on stakeholders to take an active part in making the project a success.

Speaking to the stakeholders and volunteers, the Executive Director of Devatop Centre for Africa Development, Mr. Joseph Osuigwe Chidiebere, said, “The end FGM advocacy project involves training 100 people (teachers, health workers, community volunteers, corps members, religious leaders, women leaders, victims of FGM, and NGOs) as advocates, who will take action to stop the practice of FGM in their communities. After the training, each of the participants will educate and impact 100 people within the next two months and send reports to us. It will also involve a tailored media campaign on both TV and radio stations”.

Mr. Chidiebere further noted that no family needs to be affected by FGM before taking action to end it. FGM is a practice that has both health and psychological consequences on women and girls. He advised them to be at the forefront of combating FGM, until there is a zero tolerance for the practice.

The meeting stimulated discussions on better ways of ending the practice, and the participants made impressive suggestions on how to end female genital mutilation and develop strategies to promote societal dialogue on the practice. During the meeting, stakeholders were divided into three groups and asked to come up with recommendations and present to their general house. In their group presentations, Lolo Ugueze, the wife of a traditional ruler said, “By showing the traditional rulers clear disadvantages of female genital mutilation, it will make them to invite villagers to town hall for proper exposition of FGM.”

Nze (Chief) S.C. Ogbuji also suggested that the yearly “August Meeting” should be used to educate women on ending female genital mutilation since it is a festive period when women gather for series of meetings. Ezinna V.C. Egwu suggested the use of local language (Igbo) to prepare persuasive and stimulating messages about female genital mutilation.

The stakeholders pledged their support for the project and assistance in mobilizing passionate community members to be trained as End FGM advocates.  

For more details about Female Genital Mutilation, visit: www.devatop.org

Supported by The Girl Generationwww.thegirlgeneration.org

UBEC, NERC, others to focus on nexus between basic education and electricity at 9th Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series

Hamid Bobboyi, Universal Basic Education (UBEC) Executive Secretary, Anthony Akah, Acting Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Edward Kallon, United Nations, Humanitarian Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative, Obiageli Ezekwesili, Senior Economic Advisor, African Economic Development Policy Initiative, Olabisi Obadofin, Professor of Counselling Psychology, Lagos State University (LASU), Gbemiga Ogunleye, Provost, Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) and Imeh Okan, Project Manager, USAID Energy,  Power Africa Nigeria, will be examining the nexus between electricity and basic education at the Ninth Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series, scheduled for Thursday 13 July 2017 at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja by 10am.

The annual lecture will this year mark Wole Soyinka’s 83rd birthday. It is themed, “Light Up, Light In: Interrogating the nexus between electricity and basic education in Nigeria”. The event seeks to contribute to strategic thinking and provide a veritable opportunity to raise critical questions and national debate on issues surrounding basic education (Sustainable Development Goal 4) and electric power availability and affordability (Sustainable Development Goal 7) in the country; ranging from the importance of the sectors to development, to the relationship between them, to issues of standard, to the challenges with politics, to the depth of media reportage of the issues, among others.

Importantly, the WSCIJ intends to use the occasion to launch the Regulators Monitoring Programme (REMOP) which is conceived as a media initiative geared at reporting the activities of regulators, including successes and failures, in a bid to promote proactive disclosure of information, transparency and accountability. The MacArthur Foundation supports the pilot phase of the programme with focus on electricity and basic education.

Other activities lined up for REMOP include, a three-month monitoring of twelve newspapers, the publication of status and annual reports on UBEC and NERC, stakeholders’ meetings, capacity development activities for reporters and students of journalism, investigative reporting projects and social media campaign, on the issue of regulation as it relates to electricity and basic education.

Admittance to the lecture event, which will be moderated by Alkasim Abdulkadir, a journalist and the Director of Victims Support Fund, is open to the media, industry experts, private sector leaders, government ministries and agencies, pressure groups, policy makers, students, members of the diplomatic corps and other stakeholders in the civil society.

Signed:
Motunrayo Alaka
Coordinator, WSCIJ

About WSCIJ

Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation with social justice programmes aimed at exposing corruption, regulatory failures and human rights abuses with the tool of investigative journalism. Read more

Day of the African Child: Girl’s education is key to empowerment and equal opportunity – UNICEF

Press Release

ABUJA, 16 June 2017 – As Africa celebrates the Day of the African Child today, UNICEF in partnership with Federal Ministry of Education and State Universal Basic Education Boards in Bauchi, Niger, Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara states, launch the Girls for Girls (G4G) initiative.  The G4G empowers girls with information and knowledge to help build their capacity to stand up for themselves. It aims at creating equal opportunities for girls to access education. 

With today’s commemoration of the Day of the African Child focusing on empowerment and equal opportunity for the African child, the launch is timely especially for the girl child whose fortunes are not nearly as bright as for boys. 

The primary goal of G4G is to empower girls with knowledge, skills and confidence needed to enroll and remain in school, completing the full course of education so they can be role model to other girls in their communities.  Working with members of the Mothers Association as mentors, girls will initiate and lead a range of activities to identify barriers to the education of girls in their communities and work to remove such barriers so girls will enroll and remain in school.  

“The G4G initiative is a commitment to improve the quality of girls’ and ultimately women’s lives by empowering girls through education”, said Mohamed Fall UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.  “By educating girls, practices such as early marriage will be uprooted and girls will be empowered to contribute to the development of their communities, states and Nigeria’, he noted. 

The G4G initiative is a component of the Girls’ Education Project Phase 3 being implemented in northern Nigeria through a collaboration between UNICEF Nigeria and the Federal Government of Nigeria with funding from the United Kingdom (UK) Department of International Development (DFID). 

This phase of the Girls Education Project seeks to help put 1 million girls in school, support them to remain in school and improve their learning achievement. The focus states have the highest number of girls who do not attend school in Nigeria.

Despite important education gains in recent decades, Nigeria, still has the largest number of girls not in school. When girls enter school, a vast majority of them do not complete primary school education. The average girl stays in school only through age nine. Less than one-third of girls in Nigeria enrol in the lower secondary school, and, in northern Nigeria, less than one in 10 girls generally complete secondary education.  

G4G groups will be established in more than 8,000 Primary and Qur’anic schools by 2019.  

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/nigeria

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Geoffrey Njoku, UNICEF Nigeria, +234 803 525 0288 | gnjoku@unicef.org

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