The UN Population Fund, UNFPA, has launched the 2016 State of the World Population Report (SWOP) in Nigeria and appealed for more investment in girl child to enable them harness their potentials.
Deputy Regional Director of the agency, Mrs Beatrice Mutali, made the call at the public presentation of the report in Abuja yesterday.
Mutali said that forced marriage, child labour, female genital mutilation and other harmful practices undermine girls’ health and rights, and also threaten the world’s ambitious development agenda.
According to her, the harmful practice starts at age 10 and it prevents them from realising their full potential at adult stage and contribution to the development of their communities.
“Without the contribution of this important segment of the society, the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals may never be achieved.’’
In the same vein, the UN Resident Coordinator and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Angele Dikongue-Atangana, also appealed to the National Assembly to consider and adopt law to ban child marriage in Nigeria.
Dikongue-Atangana also called for advocacy to ensure that the law to that effect was passed and implemented.
She added that the partnership between UN system and other partners was necessary to ensure that the girl child was set free from the menace of early marriage, threatening their lives.
The 2016 SWOP report was titled “10: How our future depends on a girl at this decisive age’’.
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