UNICEF has disclosed that 7.6 million girls in Nigeria, particularly in the northern regions, continue to be denied access to education. Ms. Cristian Munduate, the UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, made this revelation during the commemoration of the 2023 International Day of the Girl in Kano, held at the Government House under the theme, “Our time is now – our rights, our future,Daily Trust reports.
She noted, “While the achievements of girls offer hope, the larger perspective unveils a distressing reality with 7.6 million girls in Nigeria, many of whom are from the northern regions, still lacking access to these vital opportunities.”
Munduate went on to highlight the concerning fact that Nigeria accounts for 15% of out-of-school children worldwide, with only a meager 9% of the poorest girls having the chance to attend secondary school. She emphasized that this is not just a statistic but a critical wake-up call, while also acknowledging the presence of glimpses of hope amid these challenges.
She further pointed out that Kano currently holds the second position in terms of the number of out-of-school girls in Nigeria, revealing a stark educational disparity. She stressed that there is an increasing need to underscore the transformative power of education, as it not only creates opportunities but actively breaks the cycle of poverty.
Munduate also highlighted the students’ enthusiasm and participation during the event as a testament to the limitless potential within every girl child, showcasing what can be achieved when girls are empowered.
During a panel discussion, students addressed various issues, including the security challenges that act as a major barrier to girls’ education. They also emphasized the importance of girls’ participation in various sectors of human endeavor and discussed possible strategies to address the situation.