By Emmanuel Adeleke
In order to create an enabling environment for girls and women to thrive in the society, Nigeria’s Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) has organised a two-day summit in Abuja.
The summit, which was led by Dr Ayoade Alakija, brought together an array of prominent figures from the health, education and development sectors from Nigeria and international partners.
The conference with the theme, “Girl Child: Nurturing Our Women, Nigeria’s Own Wealth,” agreed on the terminology for the basis of a new social contract to create an enabling environment for girls and women so they can thrive, not just survive.
Speaking at the summit, Dr. Alakija stressed the need for female mentors, adding that girls in the room are able to build on what female leaders of today are achieving.
“Our ceilings will become your floors, where we end is where you are going to start,” she said
In his keynote address, the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education, Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown, threw his support behind new social contract in Nigeria.
“For girls and women to thrive and not just survive, such a social contract must be inclusive of health, education and all the development goals and take a whole of society approach to deliver it.
“I applaud Dr Alakija for designing this summit and in bringing the voices of girls and women from across Nigeria to the fore,” Brown said.
Delegates heard from donour country representatives, including UK, USA, Germany and Denmark. They also heard from multilateral representatives, such as IMF, who shared startling statistics on the economic impact of addressing violence against women and ending child marriage.
Across the various panels, which include representatives from the US CDC, IMF, World Bank, UNFPA, UNICEF, there was consensus agreement on the importance of girls’ education and an enabling environment to reach health and development goals and contribute to the future of the country.