2023 Girl Child Day: Be bold, assertive in your career choices... MWAN, NYDF charge school girls

Cross section of the students during the celebration of the international day of the girl child

By Williams Ago, Gombe

Young school girls desiring to make it in their chosen careers have been advised to be bold and assertive to be able to break many barriers that could prevent them from achieving their life dreams.

These and many other inspirational talks were the key points during a programme organized by the Gombe State branch of Medical Women's Association of Nigeria (MWAN) and the National Young Doctors Forum (NYDF) held at Government Day Secondary School, Gandu, Gombe State, to mark the 2023 International Day for the Girl Child.

Many young girls in Nigeria, especially in the north, have to contend with many sociocultural, traditional and religious barriers before they could achieve their chosen careers in life.

This is because the education and welfare of the girl child has been relegated to the background by major stakeholders in the society, which include the government, religious, traditional and community leaders.

National coordinator of the Young Doctors Forum of the Medical Women's Association of Nigeria, Dr. Safiya Tanko, in an interview with our correspondent shortly after the programme said, the event was specifically organized by the association to inspire the young girls inspite of the challenges they are facing in the society.

The professional young doctors presented themselves to the excited girls as perfect models and Dr Safiya said, "we came to inspire the girls, encourage, counsel and guide them to be on the right path.

"We encouraged and counselled them on their life and career choices as well as the need for them to take their studies seriously despite the challenges they face as girls in the society.

"It is possible for them to be doctors, lawyers or whatever career they choose for themselves but they must take their education as paramount,", Dr. Safiya said, adding that the rights and needs of the girl child must be met by her parents and government.

Reflecting on this year's theme, 'Invest in girls rights: our leadership, our well-being', Dr. Tanko called on government at all levels to invest in girls education and their well being.

She said, "things are getting more and more expensive to be able to educate girls. A girl should be educated to at least the secondary school level. Government should invest in the education of the girl child.”

During the event, several speakers took turns to inspire the girls to be assertive and bold in their choices. Among them were two student doctors, Miss Jemimah Simon Hosea and Miss Talatu Abdulkarim.

Miss Jemimah, giving her life experience and struggles, encouraged the girls to develop self confidence by telling themselves that they can make it, no matter the odds. "This will enable you to achieve your set goals in life," she said.

For Talatu Abdulkarim, who inspired them saying, she's part of their immediate Tudun Wada community, where the school is located. She told the girls that through hardwork and dedication in studies, she had already visited the United States of America as part of opportunities offered from the study of medicine. 

She told them that they could become anything they wanted to be in life but that it can only come through studying hard and being the best at their chosen career.

An equally young female lawyer, Mrs Martha Daniel from TRACKA Community Sensitization, an organization focused on tracking implementation of government projects in various communities in Nigeria to ensure service delivery, encouraged the girls to be outspoken and bold despite opposition that they will face from the public.

On her part, Dr Mercy Raymond, the Gombe State coordinator of MWAN-NYDFF, took the audience on an emotional story of resilience and struggles by her widowed mother to ensure she succeeded to her current level of being a consultant peadeatric doctor.

MWAN comprises senior doctors and consultants, while the National Young Doctors Forum is made up of young female doctors bellow the age of 40 as well as student doctors. 

The association distributed detergents to the female students to encourage personal hygiene in their homes.
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