Global Resources

The rights of the girl-child in the empowerment question and national development

Author: G. Atim
Publisher: Research on Humanities and Social Sciences
Publication Date: Jan 2015

This paper, published in the journal Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, seeks to examine the gender specific challenges faced by the girl-child in Nigeria, despite the agreement and implementation of many landmark pieces of national legislation, including the Child Rights Act (CRA) as a means of developing national-level principles to adhere to the UN convention on the rights of the child. The author seeks to identify the cultural and traditional gender biases reflected in Nigerian societal law and practices, highlighting the premium value placed on child preferences and analysed cultural beliefs which hinder her access to education. The paper aims at contributing knowledge and creating awareness about the deep rooted discriminatory challenges confronting the girl child, and recommends gender specific policies to emancipate, develop, and empower the girl-child for national development. 

The auhor concludes that the girl-child is bedeviled by many challenges, one of which is lack of access to education which tend to hinder her empowerment and development, consequently, hindering her meaningful contributions to national development. To help address these challenges, the paper makes the following recommendations;

  • Government should make concert efforts to improve girl-child education, it should go beyond rhetoric and involve policies and programmes with measurable results.
  • Government should put in extra efforts to ensure education is more accessible to low income families, with special attention on the quality of education.
  • There is a yawning need for establishment of gender – based development initiatives which stress young women’s entrepreneurship.
  • Adolescents (girls and boys) should be taught market relevant skills, including financial education and career guidance, to enable them function economically.
  • Scholarships should be offered to girls to ease their education plans, more emphasis should be laid on promotion of girl’s rights which should be introduced at all levels of education.