The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter has called for increased investments for adolescent girls.
The association made the call in a press statement made to commemorate this year’s International Day of the Girl Child as signed by its Chairperson and Secretary Susan Serekara-Nwikhana and Ngozi Anosike respectively.
NAWOJ maintained that there was an urgent need for increased attention and resourcing for the key areas that enable girls to realize their rights and achieve their full potentials.
“Responding to girls’ calls for change, government at all levels must move beyond reaffirming commitments and invest boldly in the action needed to make that change”, the statement read in parts.
It also noted that investing in girls’ leadership includes creating space and platforms for girls to raise their voices at every level of policy-making, directly resourcing girls’ movements and networks, and centering girls’ voices, agency and leadership in all programmes.
It described the range of movements and actions to curtail girls’ and women’s rights and roll back progress on gender equality as harsh impacts on girls and envisioned a society where girls would have space to shape government policy.
It further called for scaling up of sustainable programmes to support girls’well-being such as adolescent-friendly maternal health clinic that includes a parenting programme, a violence-prevention programme that takes place at school, and a multi-sectoral programme that addresses adolescent girls’ needs.
According to the association, government will not meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their targets without investing in adolescent girls who, when supported, deliver returns and powerful change for girls themselves, their families, communities and societies.