Ondo State, October 11, 2023 – On the occasion of the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child, the first lady of Ondo State, Chief Mrs Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, commends the remarkable progress made in empowering and protecting the rights of the girl child in the state.
Recognized worldwide on October 11th, this day serves as a reminder of the importance of empowering and safeguarding the girl child, while advocating for their rights and education.
Under the theme “Our Time is Now—Our Rights, Our Future,” this year’s International Day of the Girl Child emphasizes the urgent need to address the challenges faced by girls worldwide and highlights their rights and potential to shape a better future for themselves and their communities.
The BEMORE Summer Boot Camp, an impactful initiative of the First Lady, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has been at the forefront of championing various causes to achieve this objective. This program has empowered young girls in critical areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Entrepreneurship (STEM+E).
With over 3,000 girls trained through the boot camp, these young women have acquired valuable skills and knowledge, positioning them as the next generation of confident and competent leaders. Notable success stories include Marvelous Jegede, Tolu Ehimosan, Christiana Madu, Abimbola Ogunsemore and Taiwo Oniyere to mention few, who excel in fields such as solar energy, ICT, and entrepreneurship.
Her Excellency, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu who has long been a strong advocate for the protection of the rights of the girl child, recognizes the significant hurdles that girls face, including child marriages, female genital mutilation, limited learning opportunities, violence, and discrimination.
Her commitment to this cause is evident through the Yellow Cards Initiative, introduced in February 2021. This initiative aims to identify early warning signs of gender-based violence (GBV) in schools, providing children with an awareness card to report incidents promptly.
In July 2021, Governor Akeredolu signed into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) 2021. This legislation seeks to protect individuals, including the girl child, from all forms of sexual and gender-based violence.
Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu acknowledged the significant progress made in Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration in empowering the girl child and creating an enabling environment for their growth and development. She emphasized that the girl child had never been prioritized to this extent in the state.
She further urges parents, guardians, and educators not to rest on their oars in promoting gender equality through education and protection of the girl child. She underscores that positioning them to be self-reliant is of utmost importance.
The wife of the Governor passionately appeals for more Nigerians to join the campaign to empower the girl child. The Akeredolu administration remains resolute in its determination to protect and provide opportunities and resources that help girls fulfill their potential and lead lives free from violence.
Happy International Day of the Girl Child!
Oluwatobi O. Fademi,
Press Secretary, WoG, Ondo State.