The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has raised an alarm over the devastating effect of insecurity on girl-child education in the country.
The NAWOJ described as disturbing level of insecurity in the country, particularly northern Nigeria.
The association at a conference with the theme: ‘Insecurity: The Girl-Child Endangered Specie’ in Lagos, lamented that the development has begun to affect the disposition of young people, especially girls, towards education.
The association noted that education, health and general welfare of girls are being threatened by incessant abductions and other security challenges in the country.
According to the association, insecurity has compounded the age-long barriers to formal education of the Nigerian girl-child which include early and forced marriage, systemic gender biases and inadequate infrastructure.
NAWOJ further noted that sexual harassment by teachers, cultism, economic constraints and limiting culture had also stood against formal education of girls.
It, however, warned that incessant abductions of schoolgirls might make them unprepared tomorrow’s mothers, adding that the abductions would have negative impact on the future of the country.
The association, therefore, suggested that “All tiers of governments should urgently keep all schools safe to stop attacks on education of girls and boys and protect their future and the nation’s. Governments should also ensure deployment of security agents in all schools as well as fencing of all schools.
“Civil society organisations and all citizens of the country should support governments in protecting girl-child education.
“Traditional rulers should rise to the occasion of ensuring security in their communities by further promoting societal values and reporting questionable characters to appropriate authorities.
“There should be constitutional roles and allocations for traditional rulers to enable them to meet security needs of their communities. When they are not empowered, it is a challenge.
“Children’s right to education must be protected in spite of security challenges. Nigerian authorities need to live up to their commitments and double efforts to provide a safe learning environment for children.
“Measures like creation of more awareness for the girl-child on dangers around her, adequate implementation of the laws against attacks, including sexual violence against the girl-child must be introduced
“Traditional method of punishing child, such as abuse, shaming. should be discouraged. Relatives of girls and other children should report abuse on them to appropriate quarters for possible prosecution.
”Nigerians should deliberately eschew wickedness and embrace love and kindness as a strategy to promote national development.”