Oru Leonard

“Today is ‘International Day of the Girl Child’; let’s join our voices to amplify the suppressed voices of girls in Nigeria and across the world.”, says Diaspora Face of Imo State; Hon. Cllr. Celia Osakwe-Hibbert, The Special Adviser to the IMO State Government in Nigeria.

This statement was made during an award given to Hom Osakwe- Hibbett by the Girls’ Brigade of Imo State Chapter and presented the ‘Phenomenal Girl Child’ award today, 11th October 2020 in recognition of her unreserved commitment to championing ‘equality issues’.

The group has been involved in championing the rights of women through various activities and engagements such as sensitizations, advocacies, lobbying Government Bodies, strategic partnership only to mention but a few.

The Special Adviser on Diaspora to Imo State Governor, who is a renowned Women’s Empowerment Activist, whilst proudly receiving this prestigious award, spoke to the congregation at St. Peter’s Anglican Church Ikenegbu Owerri, Imo State. In her opening comments, she applauds Sen. Hope Uzodimma, the Executive Governor of Imo State for leading the way in ‘gender equality’. She stated that never before has there been young women in their 30’s such as herself, in Leadership positions here in Imo State.

The SA DIASPORA Imo State, who is also a currently elected Councillor in the United Kingdom, unequivocally stated to the media that, “all States in Nigeria need to prioritise the empowerment of every girl child”. She went further to say, “this year, I and many Women across the world, specifically demand that we collectively:

“Eliminate all forms of descrimination against girls. Eliminate negative cultural attitudes and practices against girls. Promote and protect the rights of girls and increase awareness of their needs and potential. Eliminate discrimination against girls in education, skills development and training.

“Eliminate discrimination against girls in health and nutrition. Eliminate the economic exploitation of child labour and protect young girls at work. Eradicate violence against girls. Promote girls’ awareness of and participation in social, economic and political life. And finally, Strengthen the role of the family in improving the status of girls,”

It is estimated that approximately 70% of women in Nigeria experience morethan one form of sexual violence in their lifetime. This year’s theme is ‘My Voice Our Equal Future’.

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