THE president, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Com. Quadri Olaleye, and the chairperson TUC Women Commission, Comrade Hafsatu Shuibu, have called for gender equality and strict observance of the girl child rights as the world celebrated the International Girl Child Day, across the globe.
They also demanded stringent punishment for those who abuse girl child, molest and trample on their rights to life and survival, even as both condemned the preferential treatment given to male child at the expense of girl child.
Specifically they decried the way the girl child is being discriminated against, particularly in areas of education, health and marriage.
Comrades Olaleye and Shuibu spoke at an awareness programme and a rally organised by the TUC Women Commission to mark the 2019 International Girl Child Day, with a theme: With Her: A Skilled Girl Force.
The TUC president said the congress was delighted to celebrate every woman who is standing despite the myriad of challenges confronting them, adding, “you may not be there yet but I can testify that you have made some reasonable progress.
“Like Oliver Twist, I urge you to continue to seek more avenues to advocate and secure a better life for the girl child,” he added.
According to Comrade Olaleye, “it is quite noble on the part of the United Nations to have set aside the International Day of Girl Child (IDGC), to raise awareness of gender inequalities, girl child marriages, female genital mutilation, access to medical care, legal rights, good nutrition, access to education, etc. As praiseworthy as this may appear, I must reiterate that we need more actions on the part of all stakeholders because of the vital role of women in family and society at large.”
He pointed out that the theme this year was pertinent, saying, “if we go by creation, a woman is a multiplier; an incubator, a nurse, manager, etc. There are actually many things a skilled girl child, nay the female folk, can achieve when given the opportunity. History is replete with women who have impacted lives and their generation.”
In her own talk, Comrade Shuibu, the chairperson, TUC Women Commission, charged the federal and state governments as well as parents on provision of quality education for the girl child.
She said the girl child has a right to quality free health care services, to be free to occupy positions of decision making without being harassed.
The rally, according to her, is to sensitize residents and Nigerians to the important place of the girl child, adding that the TUC women commission has been canvassing for the girl child, which includes training in various skills.
Shuibu said: “I look forward to a situation where I will see these girls become greater women than those of us that are here today. I feel excited, I feel very happy. This years theme “ With Her: A Skilled Girl Force” is straight to the point. Their mothers are being limited to the passenger seat, we want a situation where they will know what their rights are, how they could go about knowing it.”