Olanrewaju Lawal, Birnin-Kebbi
Wife of Kebbi State Governor, Dr Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, and the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF) have charged the newly inaugurated members of High Level Women Advocates (HiLWA) in the state to improve on girl child education and enrollment in schools.
The ten members of the HiLWA were inaugurated at the Kebbi State Government House which was witnessed by representative of the Emir of Gwandu, UNICEF, staff of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary education, and other civil society groups.
HiLWA serves as pressure group to influence policies and actions of the state governments that will increase girls enrollment in schools and women participation in education decisions, among others.
Mrs Bagudu encouraged the newly inaugurated members to sacrifice their time and resources to reduce the drop out of girls in schools across the state.
“Let us learn from each other and the ultimate goal here is to improve education of girls child in the state,” she said.
Bagudu, who is also Patron of HiLWA in the state, sought for domestication of the Child Rights Act in the state and appointment of more women in government as Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Directors at various Ministries and State Agencies.
Chief of UNICEF Sokoto Field Office Mohameden Fall, in his remarks, said that UNICEF Nigeria was committed to supporting HiLWA in advocating and mobilising stakeholders towards ensuring equitable and increased access to safe and quality education for all children, especially girls.
“Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals 2030, SDG 4 is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Having developed your 2019 HiLWA work plan, I urge you to ensure its timely implementation in the light of the purpose of establishing HiLWA in Kebbi state,” he said.
The Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Muhammadu Illiasu Bashar, who was represented by the Waziri Gwandu, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar, in his message advocated for soft loans to rural women from financial institutions and government, stressing that this would relieve many of them from poverty and allow them to cater for themselves and their children.