The event witnessed mentoring sessions from several role models; a key note address by Her Excellency, Mrs. Toyin Saraki; a special message from the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, Director, UNIC and a session that equipped the participants with information about their reproductive rights.
Convener of the event who doubles as President of Zonta International Club, Lagos 1, Dr. Ulrike Schmueser, explained that the event was organized to highlight women’s achievements in various fields and to serve as a forum to inspire and encourage girls to consider careers in the growing field of ICT. Dr. Ulrike Schmueser also added that it was a platform to correct the misconception that there are certain things that girls cannot achieve.
While delivering the keynote address, President and Founder of Wellbeing Foundation, Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki stated that the wellbeing, human rights and empowerment of the Nigerian girl is central to the development of the Nation.
“If you train a girl, you train a society, so it is important that we discourage girl child discrimination, violence against women, early marriage and also encourage the education of the girl child. When the girl is properly educated and informed, there will be a decrease in maternal and infant mortality, there will be a decrease in teenage pregnancy and generally a better society will emerge’’.- Mrs Toyin Saraki.
In her words: “Intel aims to bridge the gap in technology between boys and girls. Intel encourages girls never to limit their thinking and that is why Intel will make use of every opportunity to encourage girls, mentor them and allow them to experience technology. And at the very heart of Intel’s effort in bridging this gender gap is the Intel She Will Connect programme which has reached over one million girls across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa”.In her address at the event, Intel She Will Connect Ambassador, Titilope Sonuga reiterated Intel’s commitment to the development of the girl child. She stressed that the company elected to partner with Zonta International Club to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child to further demonstrate Intel’s commitment to helping the girl child realize her potentials in the field of technology and to help girls speak up against discrimination and abuse.
At the conclusion of the event, the participants who had been taught, mentored, encouraged and motivated to go forth and accomplish their dreams, affirmatively recited the Girl Declaration Speech which echoed the fact that girls will rise to the moment and become significant.
The International Day of the Girl Child Event supports more opportunity for girls, and increases awareness of inequality faced by girls worldwide based on their gender. This inequality includes areas such as access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, and protection from discrimination, violence and no to child marriage.