The Ogun State Government in partnership with United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) have rewarded young girls in Secondary Schools in the state with cash gifts and tools to scale up their innovative ideas on solutions to end gender based violence through technological innovation means.
The rewards were in commemoration of the Year 2023 International Day of Girl Child, organised by the Office of the first lady in conjunction with Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, UNFPA held at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Kuto Abeokuta.
Delivering her welcome address on the theme, Invest in ‘Girls’ Right: Our leadership, Our wellbeing, The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Adijat Adeleye, stated that the aim of initiating the presentation on innovation challenge for young girls in secondary schools in the state was aimed at proffering an end to the discrimination against girls and promote their social well-being as well as preventing Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) both in schools and in the society.
Adeleye, in a statement signed by Mrs. Folake Ogunboyejo, Press Officer, Women Affairs and Social Development, said government was committed in the development of Information, Communication Technology (ICT), believing that it is an investment in the future, wellbeing and global recognition.
‘The idea of initiating this in our schools is to share information that would offer value perspective and solutions to challenges faced by young girls in Secondary schools, passionate to support them in the area of ICT and I want to urge us all to be open minded to embrace knowledge that would be shared and work collectively towards a future where every young girl will thrive’ Adeleye said.
The Commissioner called on stakeholders including traditional rulers, professional and religious bodies, pressure groups and educational institutions among others to redefine their policies and programme with an increasing attention to the safety of girl child, saying it is imperative that all must prioritise the future of the girls, recognising that their contributions will shape the national rebirth and social development to the state and Nigeria at large.
Speaking, the Gender Analyst, UNFPA Mrs Esther Somefun, commended the creativity and efforts of the girls who participated in the innovation challenge, drawn from secondary schools in the state, saying ’40 students participated in the challenge which started in August with essay writing and five finalists were opportuned to make presentation on ways to end the menace of Gender Based Violence against women and girl child in the state.
She noted that experts would follow up with the solutions proffered and compliment the students’ efforts by actualising the solutions into reality, adding that the tools and cash reward was to appreciate their efforts.
The winner of the innovation challenge was from Faith Heritage Gold College, Ita- Elega, Miss Oreoluwajomiloju Babalola who suggested an innovation app called ‘Break the Cycle’ to end the menace of Gender Based Violence.
Miss. Babalola appreciated the state government and UNFPA for the opportunity to participate in the challenge and rewarding her with cash and a laptop to leverage on her quest to proffer solutions to issues affecting girl child, as every girl child should have the right to live free of any form of violence.