Home General Mercy Corps push for CRA’s implementation in Nigeria’s capital
General - May 12, 2016

Mercy Corps push for CRA’s implementation in Nigeria’s capital

Mercy Corps, the Portland-headquartered NGO working  to promote sustainable development through conflict mitigation and economic development, with particular focus on protecting and empowering women and adolescent girls, has organized a one-day policy dialogue on the effective implementation of the Child Rights Act, CRA, in Nigeria’s federal capital territory.

Mercy Corps: CRA should be implemented in Nigeria
Mercy Corps: CRA should be implemented in Nigeria

The policy dialogue themed: Effective Implementation of the Child Rights Act: Implications for Girl-Child Education and Empowerment was held in Abuja last week Tuesday, and had as keynote speaker, Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, of the Africa programme at Open Society Justice Initiative.

In his keynote address, Odinkalu said: “the narrative of building secure, productive and just communities begins with the future of the Nigerian woman and girl child. The victim of much exclusion, discrimination, violence and abuse, the fate of the girl child very much defines the level of development of our country.”

He added that the different frontiers of conflict in the different geo-political zones of Nigeria and disasters framed by climate change, pollution and poor regulation of resource extraction had made the country a natural choice for Mercy Corps’ intervention.

“There is a gendered, biological determinism that consigns every young girl or woman to a fate inferior to that of her male peers. The justifications for this inferior fate are many and varied: culture, tradition, faith, economics, and political economy. Central to alleviating this fate is enlightenment through education,” said Odinkalu

He harped on the need for the enlistment of faith and traditional institutions in the campaign to reach families that may be opposed to girl-child education as well as the need for investment in school places to cater for the growth in the demand for school space for the girl-child.

“Investment in school safety also needs to be increased. Families are more likely to be persuaded to send their daughters to school if they know the children will not meet with physical or moral harm. Additionally, steps should be taken to enhance the skills and suitability of teachers and exclude convicted or established sexual predators from classrooms for the girl child,” he said.

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