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In commemoration of the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child, the Society Development Foundation for Women and Children (SODEF), in collaboration with the Association for Orphan and Vulnerable Children in Ekiti State, celebrated girls at United High School in Ilawe Ekiti.

Speaking to 1Newsng, one of the conveners of the event, Mr. Temitope Ayodele, explained that the event was aimed at raising awareness about the identity of the girl child, in line with this year’s theme, tagged: ‘Investing in Girls’ Right: Our Leadership and Wellbeing.’

He also stated that it’s aimed at raising awareness about the unique challenges faced by girls worldwide, as well as proposing solutions to tackle these numerous challenges.

Mr Temitope Ayodele 

In his words, “This is the perfect time to do what we are doing now. We’re in the 21st century, and we should make people, especially Nigerians and particularly Ekiti people, understand that the Girl Child is not a liability but an asset. We use this medium to enlighten parents and even the girls on what they have the capacity to do in society.”

According to him, “Days like this give us the privilege to promote gender equality as well as empower girls to embrace their full potential. When we invest in a girl child, we are investing in society and the world at large. The International Day of the Girl Child started in 2012 by the United Nations, and since then, it has constantly served as a pointer on the importance of a girl child in society.”

He explained that when girls are provided with equal opportunities and resources, they become leaders in their own right.

He pointed out that by nurturing their leadership skills, the girl child is empowered to bring about progress and development in society.

“When girls are given the chance to lead, they bring unique perspectives, innovative ideas, and a strong sense of empathy to decision-making processes. This diversity of thought and inclusive leadership contributes to more effective and sustainable solutions to the challenges our society faces,” he added.

He emphasized that one of the major importance of an outreach like this is to create awareness of the rights of the girl child, and it’s not something that’ll stop anytime soon, as a lot of people are keying into it to liberate the girl child from societal bondage.

When questioned on the main objective of SODEF as an association, Mr. Ayodele said, “SODEF is a Non-governmental organization with the sole aim of protecting the rights of women and children. We are intentional about it and we’ve been receiving the needed support, and we hope we’ll continue to receive more to build an all-inclusive society.”

“We also create awareness about the dangers of Female Genital Mutilation, FGM, gender-based violence, rape, child labour, female marginalization and a lot more. We hope to get the needed motivation to build a more sane society,” he stressed.

Mr. Ayodele added that they are also serving as a voice for all, irrespective of gender, as well as ensuring that the rights of the people are respected.

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