WAGLA laments young girls, adolescents’ low participation in developmental issues

The executives-director of the Women Africa Girls Leadership and Mentoring Academy (WAGLA), Chinwe Onyeukwu, has expressed concern over lack the commitment by young girls to advocate for development issues that concerns them in the society.

Onyeukwu raised the concern during its leadership and mentoring skills capacity development program for adolescent girls and young women which is specifically targeting adolescent girls (15 to 19 years) transiting from secondary into tertiary education.

She said to address this disparity, girls need to be equipped with tools to empower them to challenge these restrictions.

She said the essence of selecting girls within these ages is because it is a period when most adolescent girls are significantly more vulnerable than their male counterparts and are more likely to fall prey to inaccurate information as they move through adolescence into adult young women.

She said the training is organized by Women Initiative for Leadership Strategy and Innovation in Africa (Women Africa) in collaboration with the Civil Society Hub, Africa.

She said in Nigeria, adolescent girls are disproportionately vulnerable to gender inequalities including child marriage, unwanted pregnancies, and trafficking. According to UNICEF, 70% of the over 190 million Nigeria’s estimated population are young persons below the age of 35 years old.

“One in every five of the world’s out-of-school children are in Nigeria and over 70% of the over 10.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria today, are girls.

“ Likewise, 1 in 3 women between the ages of 15 and 49 years old in Nigeria, have experienced one form of gender-based violence or the other. This situation has led to developmental difficulties for the girl child in  Nigeria,” she said.

One of the beneficiaries of the training , Abiye Treasure Faith, 16 said she is a very outspoken person and she came for the training to get guidance on how to solve impending issues and to make things better.