The President’s wife, Aisha Buhari and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have advocated support for legislation against child marriage and promotion of girl-child education for the country’s 20 million young women.
Addressing the audience yesterday in Abuja, at the commemoration of the 2015 International Day of the Girl-Child, Mrs. Buhari said “no single girl would be left behind in my movement to get every girl into school.”
The President’s wife noted that investing in adolescent girls has benefits for all and encouraged parents to keep their daughters in school for at least 12 years. Aisha was honoured with an investiture as the Grand Patron of the High Level Women Advocates for Girls Education in Nigeria during an advocacy visit by fifty adolescent girls.
UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Jean Gough, said: “Adolescent girls should be empowered through deliberate policies to transform their lives and those around them. Young girls who are educated are better placed to improve their own and their children’s health and chances of survival, and boost their work prospects.”
In response to the development, UNICEF with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and counterpart-funding from five participating states started the Girls’ Education Project, which aims to achieve one million enrolments of girls into school by the end of the year 2020.
The project is currently running in Bauchi, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto and Zamfara states since implementation commenced in 2012, and has contributed to the enrolment of additional 360,000 girls in primary schools in the five states.