While the nation joins other parts of the world to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the #BringBackOurGirls group has called on the federal government to prioritise in the education of the girl-child.
In a press briefing read by one of the members of the group, Comfort Iliya, the group stated that the nation’s inability to ensure protection of the right of women to education has contributed to gender-based discrimination and violence in the country.
The group also called on government to prioritise education through adequate financing of the education sector by adhering to the Education For All (Dakar) Framework of Action through a deliberate increment in budgetary allocation for education to a minimum of 20 per cent and also ensuring it’s judicious utilisation.
“It is therefore, of utmost importance to prioritise education as a tool to, among others, reduce the spate of gender-based violence in the country, while creating room for peace in the home, and by extension, peace in the nation, and the world.
“To this end, therefore, on this 2015 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, we call on governments at all levels in Nigeria to ensure implementation of all education-related policies that promote access to safe and quality education for girls.
“We also demand that the government ensure that states comply with the provision of the 2004 Universal Basic Education Act where it was stipulated, in Section 2(1) that “Every Government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory, and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age” especially in states where education uptake is low,” it stated.
It also urged government to strengthen the judiciary, particularly at the state level, to ensure speedy adjudication of matters relating to violence against women; physical, sexual, psychological, and/or economic.
The group which expressed sadness that the Chibok school girls who were abducted by the Boko Haram sect as they went in search of education, urged government to guarantee the safety of pupils in seeking education by ensuring communities and schools are safe.
“The very abduction of our Chibok girls on 14 April 2014, 591 days ago, 219 of them still missing with not 1 found — young women who dared to seek education despite the challenges of going to school in their cultural setting as females, and the unsafe learning environment — emphasises the importance of this year’s theme,” it said.
The group also urged government to ensure the promotion of all relevant gender-based laws and policies which protect women against all forms of violence; sexual violence, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation and forced child marriage.