International Day of the Girl 2023: NRHJN canvasses safe spaces for girls in Nigeria

As the world commemorates the  International Day of the Girl 2023, the Lagos State Chapter of the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, NRHJN, honours our daughters adolescent girls, and all young women in Nigeria and across the world.

Every October 11, we join the rest of the world to raise awareness about gender inequality and to advocate for girls’ rights and empowerment, while focusing on the essence of addressing the challenges girls and young women face and ensuring their human rights are fulfilled.

We fully align with this year’s theme as selected by UNICEF: “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being” which focuses on taking action to curtail girls’ rights and gain progress on gender equality and equity.

As a network of media professionals, we actively advocate to bridge the communication gaps in girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights, and our goal is to ensure that girls reach their full potential even as they live healthy and fulfilling lives.

The NRHJN Lagos chapter emphasizes the rights of girls to a safe, uncompromised, and healthy life during their formative years and as they  mature into womanhood. Girls have the potential to change the world as empowered women, workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders, jus to mention a few.

We firmly believe that investment in realizing the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights and promises a more equitable and prosperous future. We call for full and unhindered achievement of gender equality and girl empowerment as integral to each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in 2015 as the Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030.

As an advocacy group, our network pushes for a more just and fair society in which girls’ rights are recognized and safeguarded and their voices are heard.

We also advocate for an end to female genital mutilation and forced child marriage because we want schoolgirls to have access to quality education and a safe environment free of harassment, kidnapping, bullying, and defilement.

Our girls are our heroines, and the Lagos NRHJN will continue to encourage mothers to nurture their girl child in order to break down traditional, cultural, and religious stereotypes and barriers that have prevented girls from achieving their goals, as we encourage more girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

We call on the Nigerian government at all levels to prioritize the commitment towards ensuring the rights of girls and women across all fronts in Nigeria towards attaining goals that will lead to justice, inclusion, an economy for all today, and a shared environment for future generations.

We will continue to support the government, schools, families, and other stakeholders in empowering the Nigerian girl by providing adequate and equitable  educational and instructional resources that would lead to the eradication of all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against girls and women in the country.

Girls, and boys too, should be given equal opportunities to thrive in the family, schools, and society at large for a realistically inclusive society. There should be no compromise.




Kikelomo Oduyebo

Lagos State Coordinator


Yesirat Apakala

Lagos State Assistant Secretary

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