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Children’s Day: Northern women leaders advocate girl-child education


Children’s Day: Northern women leaders advocate girl-child education

By Matthew Eloyi

Notable Northern women leaders on Saturday harped on the importance of educating a girl-child, noting that such would ensure rapid development in the region and the country at large.

The women spoke at a webinar with the theme; “Girl Power: Defying All Odds, Stories Of Northern Nigerian Women Leaders”, organised by Adda Girl Education Foundation in commemoration of the 2023 Children’s Day.

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The speakers, who include Senior Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Maryam Uwais; the first female lawyer in Northern Nigeria to open her chambers, Fatima Kwaku; Secretary-General of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative; Saudatu Mahdi; the first female President of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa, called for resilience and confidence towards attaining success.

Speaking on developing leadership skills and continuous learning, Uwais urged participants drawn from primary to tertiary to expand their scope of learning, adding that “things I learnt many years ago are useful to me now.”

She encouraged them to align their interests with their goals, stressing that they have control over how they react to issues.

“Embrace positive learning, research on various subjects especially in your areas of interest, so that you can learn how people tackled their problems. Develop resilience and confidence, nobody knows it all. Seek to help other girls in your communities. Education will help you in your marriages, even as a housewife,” Uwais admonished.

While speaking on overcoming cultural and societal barriers to achieve success, Mahdi said she and her siblings having attained the highest level of education are successful in life and marriages, adding that education should not be seen as an encumbrance to becoming a submissive spouse.

She lauded various interventions of government to courage girl-child education, calling for more investment in training children, especially girls.

In her words, “Encourage girls around you, by mentoring them. There should be more investment in women and girls because exposure is not overnight.”

In her presentation on finding mentors and building a support network, Kwaku called on families, communities and government to embrace both Islamic and Western education, adding that there was a need for effective synergies.

She added that “Education is the greatest power a woman needs to defy the odds, to improve her welfare, family and Nation.”

Also speaking, Bulkachuwa, who doubles as the Chairperson of Adda Girl expressed optimism that in the next few years, the beneficiaries would offer similar help to their communities.

She commended six beneficiaries who came top in their classes, adding that the fruit of the foundation was beginning to manifest.

The Programme Manager of Adda Girl Education Foundation noted that the webinar was geared towards inspiring confidence in participants, adding that speakers were selected as successful women leaders who have overcome challenges to achieve success in their respective fields.

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