A non-governmental organisation known as Kaduna State Faith Actors Dialogue Forum (FADF), has called on adolescent girls in Nigeria to make education their top priority rather than rushing into marriage at a tender age.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, the Chairman of FADF, Rev. Joseph Hayab, said that adolescent girls should embrace education, employment and reject early marriage, adding that women should be given an opportunity to lead in all spheres of life, because from records they have always been proven to be better administrators.
He cautioned adolescent girls against all forms of social ills and advised them to concentrate more on what will guarantee their future because their destiny is in their hands, and they can use it negatively or positively.
He also said that gender equality has a transformative effect that is essential to fully functioning communities, society and economy.
According to Rev. Hayab, FADF, is a group of 35 Faith Actors and Leaders of both Christian and Muslim faith working together to liberate the girl-child from any form of discrimination by empowering them to have a voice in the society.
The Chairman commended women who have shown courage and are always at the forefront contributing their quota to societal growth without barriers and urged them to continue to be bold for change in their undertakings.
“We are here to commemorate the 2017 International Women’s Day which is observed every 8 of March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
“This year’s theme, “Be Bold for Change” is apt even as we call on the masses to help forge a better working world.
“Our society must not reduce or restrict them from exercising their fundamental right. We should instead join hands in empowering women and girls which is an assured way for a secured future for our children, family and the society at large.
“We at FADF wish to call on the government at all levels and private sector, to be bold for change by giving women, especially adolescent girls the proper and required education to be able to compete with emerging trends in the society so that as they grow up, they will be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science.
“We commend the efforts put in by the Development and Peace Initiative (DPI) and Gender Awareness Trust (GAT), with support from the Christian Aid in ensuring the involvement of Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Parents and Teachers to key into her Collective Action for Adolescent Girls Initiative (CAAGI) to improve the choices of opportunities for adolescent girls which is being carried out in 12 communities of Kaduna state, four communities in Zango Kataf, Chikun and Makarfi Local Government Areas each,” he said.