Inter'l Day of Girl Child: Ekpere-Eta charges girls on hygiene, distributes sanitary kits in Abuja, C'River


To commemorate the 2020 International Girl Child Day, the Director General of the National Center for Women Development (NCWD), Barr. Mary Ekpere-Eta on Saturday, October 10th organized a sensitization worship on menstrual hygiene for indigenes of Mabushi village in Abuja and also, Ikom, in Cross River State.

Menstrual kits like sanitary pads, pants liner and other items were distributed to girls at the workshop.

Speaking, Ekpere-Eta encouraged parents to ensure they provide the girl child with adequate protection as well as education to enable them grow into adults that would contribute meaningfully to nation building.

She lamented that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has put the girl child into more risk as they have been reported cases of rape, harassment and other forms of domestic violence during the lockdown period.

The DG however promised to conduct research to evaluate the impact of the lockdown on the girl child to enable her draw activities to help in rehabilitating those affected by domestic violence.

While stressing the need for girls to complete their education, she thanked her partners, Procter and Gamble, manufacturers of popular sanitary pads, ‘Always’ for donating free pads to girls during the exercise.

According to her, "The theme for the 2020 celebration is “My Voice our Equal Future” adolescent girls world-wide assert their powers as change makers.  Considering that their progress has not kept pace with the realities that they face and the Covid-19 pandemic has further re-enforced existing gaps and strengthened gender inequalities; making women and girls bearing the brunt. 

In this regards the 2020 commemoration of the International Day of the Girl child is focusing on the demand for girls to live free from Gender Base Violence, Harmful Traditional/Religious Practices, HIV/AIDS, Menstrual Health Hygiene and COVID-19 preventive measures.

The activities of the 2020 theme are targeted at girls organizing themselves and demanding for action against discrimination, violence and poor learning opportunities: which has been made more vulnerable by the covid-19 pandemic.  The activities are aimed at building self-consciousness in the girls, empowering girls with knowledge, exposure and skills to create a movement of girls who are a force to reckon with and determined to make change in their lives.  The theme is in consonance with the efforts the NCWD is making to empower and strengthen the girl child agenda towards gender equality and expansion of their voice across board".

She also disclosed that to provide opportunity and platform for women to thrive, the centre was running girls coding programme to connect them into the information superhighway.

"The National Centre for Women Development in collaboration with Procter and Gamble and other partners joins countries of the world to mark the annual event by organizing a sensitization workshop for indigent adolescent girls in Mabushi Village in the Federal Capital Territory and Ikom in Cross River State. 

Working towards the actualization of the theme in addressing the issue of Information and communication technology, the Centre is running a Girls Coding programme to connect young girls and women to the information super highway to enable them explore opportunities available in the sector.  

To ensure no one is left out, the Centre trains Girls with Disabilities on the use of ICT, with a special Centre dedicated to the virtually impaired.  We are also revitalizing the Girl Child Mentorship Programme to match young girls with young women who have made impact in the society", she said.
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