The UN Women, on Thursday urged the Nigerian government to develop programmes that encourage education of the girl child.
The Programme Officer, Mr Desmond Osemhenjie told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that lack of quality education and poor funding had dampened the advancement of the girl child.
Osemhenjie observed that a large number of girls were being enrolled in schools but dropped out owing to challenges of family raring and economic empowerment.
“Basically the government needs to consciously programme for girl child education and the funding for girl child education should be consciously increased.
“We also need to have special programmes to attract girls, not only attract them but also make them to stay in school throughout the process; which is retention of girls in school.
“We discover that at the early stage, many girls are being enrolled in schools but along the way in the tertiary level, you see that they are dropping out because of economic reasons.
“There is the need to take care of family for those already in the family way which sometimes falls on the women than the men.
“The government needs to come in and improve the incentive,” he said.
The Programme Officer also said there was need for the custodians of the tradition in communities to be sensitised on the importance of girl child education.
He however said that issues on patriarchy had limited the advancement of women in some developing countries to be at par with global standard.
According to him, gender development is not a known phenomenon in the sub-Saharan Africa.
He said that male dominance in every area of life was more prevalent, adding that more women in decision making positions of the country required grass root advocacy.
Osemhenjie added that the UN Women had designed some initiatives to encourage the participation of women in all spheres of life.
“We have designed initiates to make sure that women take active roles in their empowerment and ensure that they are given the opportunity to openly demand for their rightful position.
“Stepping it up for women will come up in different strategies, holistic strategy, both economic empowerments and leadership roles.
“It will also encourage women in governance, women in peace mediation and ensure that all the programmes introduced to help women will help them get empowered,” he said.
He said that achieving gender equality to meet up the requirements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) involved lessons learnt in the past years from women empowerment struggle.
According to the Programme Officer, Nigeria and other African countries lagging in gender equality should derive lessons from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa in women empowerment. (NAN)