Welcome! This is HNR. Mrs. MojisolaOluwa Alli-Macaulay
IMPACT OF ABUSES AND POVERTY: THE GIRL CHILD AS A VICTIM
Being A Keynote Address By Hon Mojisolaoluwa Alli-Macaulay, Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Lagos State House of Assembly At The Official Launch of International Family Foundation on Friday 3rd September, 2021 At Four Points, Oniru Chieftaincy Estate, Victoria Island, Lagos State.
All protocols observed.
The organizers, distinguished members of the high table, ladies and gentlemen, I count it an honour to have been asked to grace this epoch making occasion and a rare privilege to have been asked to deliver a keynote address on the above topic: Impact of Abuses and Poverty: The Girl Child As A Victim. It is on this note I will like to profusely thank the organizers for the invitation and the opportunity to speak at the official launching of this Foundation.
The two key issues here: poverty and abuses are twin hydra diseases pervading our world and having devastating impacts on the girl child. “Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere” says Kofi Annan, the Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations. Poverty is like a punishment for a crime you didn’t commit says another sage. Poverty dehumanizes and abuse of whatever kind makes people think less of themselves irrespective of colour and creed.
According to The Advocates for Human Rights – a non-governmental organization like the one we are launching here today, “Violence against the girl child is perpetrated on every continent, wielded by every social and economic class, and sanctioned to varying degrees by every form of government, every major religion, and every kind of communal or familial structure. There is no place of complete refuge for the girl child, only promises of stronger legal regimes and more robust non-governmental assistance.” (Emphasis mine)
The girl child from conception to birth, birth to adulthood is always a victim of the circumstance she finds herself. She is subjected to prenatal sex selection, suffered in female genital mutilation rituals, trades and sold as slaves and prostitutes across national borders. She is a victim of child marriage, sexual harassment and abuse at workplaces, wars and conflicts, and besseted with social, economic and political deprivation. Not until recently, the girl child is expected to be seen but not heard. What a world of inequality!
It is in this regards, the brains behind the establishment of an initiative like the International Family Foundation must be applauded, encouraged and supported because of the daunting task they are launching themselves to. The launch of this foundation today marks another milestone in our quest to fight the twin scourges of poverty and girl child abuse in the world, continent, country, State and our individual homes.
Let me quickly state here therefore to the brains behind this Foundation that it is not going to be a tea party if they are to live up to the ethos of their statutory responsibilities and objectives. The task is a herculean but noble one. They must walk the talk if they are to save the girl child from many socially inflicted plagues confronting her. As can be seen above, the pains of the girl child are many – some are culturally inflicted, some others economically induced and yet some religiously induced.
The struggle for the girl child liberation is a long walk to freedom which all of us sited here must be committed to. Some will be on the field like the men and women behind the International Family Foundation; some must walk behind the scenes through financial, moral and material support, while some of us must use the instrumentality of the law like I’m honoured to be championing the course alongside my other affable colleagues at the Lagos State House of Assembly. It is a worthy course; it is a job that must be done because every abuse girl is a threat to the humaneness of humanity. This is because today’s girl is tomorrow’s mother, and abuse girl may end up a hostile and violent mother if nothing is done to reform her psyche.
Knowing this, men and women of our age must rise with one voice to bequeath to the next generation a world of equality where the worth of a person will not be determined on the basis of her gender but her capacity and contribution to humanity. To achieve this, we must start from the home by treating our girl child and boy child equally. This will include removing the stereotypes division of house chores; and unnecessary placement of value one gender above other genders in our society.
Ladies and gentlemen, man inequality against man is rising at astronomical proportion; it is time to stem the tide. It is time for a new world order erected on ethos of love, justice, value for human lives, and equity. It is time for us to become the champion of hope for that little girl in the remote village and the maids in our homes in the city where we live. It is time to build a violence-free gender world we will all be proud of.
Thank you all for your time.
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