As Nigeria joins the rest of the World to celebrate the Year 2021 International Day of the Girl Child, the Wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has recommitted herself to building female technology leaders.
In her message, the Founder of the Bemore Empowered Initiative,the largest girls-only ICT and solar boot camp in Nigeria, said she would continue to build female technology leaders that will serve Nigeria and help with solving her problems.
According to her, “I am committed to continue to build female technology leaders who will serve Nigeria and solve Nigerian problems and not to become professionals for export who are suitable for sending back dollars homeward.”
While urging leaders at all spheres of the nation not to deny the girl child equal access to quality education, noting it is counterproductive to national development.
“Our greatest error as a nation has been and continues to be; denying the girl child equal access to quality education by upholding cultural norms and traditions that discriminate against them.”
Speaking to this year’s theme, “Digital Generation: Our Generation”, Arabinrin aligned with the position of the United Nations in advancing women and girl-child technological advancement, noting that the BEMORE Empowered Initiative for girl-child is a testimony of the need to ensure women and girls have unlimited access to the internet and digital devices, to facilitate opportunities for girls’ to safely and meaningfully access, use, lead and design technology.
“If indeed we are concerned about the prosperity and security of this country called Nigeria, we must begin to invest in our girls. The Year 2021 BEMORE Summer Boot camp in Ondo State over 360 girls were trained, reshaped, reformed and polished to bridge gender technological gap in the country, believing they would grow to become beautiful and strong-willed breed of women.”
Chief Anyanwu-Akeredolu also called on African leaders to join the league of world powers like the United States of America where vision for the future is one where every girl can live free from violence, discrimination, and bias; where girls can dream boldly and lead ambitiously as heads of families, communities, corporations, and governments; where their voices are not only heard, but amplified; and where they can lead the charge against 21st century challenges, drive innovations, compete and succeed in the workforce of the future.
She added: “Insecurity, socio-economic and political instability are becoming more popular in Nigeria, because the people allow proliferation of sexist family laws, unequal property rights, early marriage for girls, patrilocal marriage, polygamy, son preference, violence against women and legal indulgence of it would have been drastically mitigated if government, civil societies, private sector, parents, philanthropists, youth movements and other stakeholders can protect, support and invest more in the girl-child.”
The Digital Mama charged women and girls in the State not to jettison their interest in STEM but keep overcoming obstacles placed by society on women advancement.
SSA, Media, WoG.
October 11, 2021