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Why the Girl.....

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Dear Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director, UN Women.

Congratulations on your new position as the Executive Director of United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, now UN Women.

I am sure that one of your goal as the head of UN Women is to move forward the status of women and girls worldwide. I am delighted to have the opportunity to be part of your success story by speaking for my women. It is my obligation as a concerned woman to let you know what is happening to women and girls in my community and country. If I fail to do this, you may not able to extend your good works to my women and it will be my fault. So, I wish to use my voice as a mouthpiece for my country women.

Nigeria recognizes education as a fundamental human right yet gender inequity in education still pose a big challenge. Education is the backbone of women's empowerment. Many women do not have a voice today because they cannot express themselves. This has also affected the number of women in political offices and decision makers. It has also affected her level of reproductive and sexual health and rights leading to poor healthy condition and living.

The most common practice of gender inequality being practiced in Nigeria is to terminate the girl child education when there is financial crisis in a family or when one or both parents die. She is expected to do anything that will bring in money so as to feed her other sibling. This has resulted to many girls practicing prostitution as a trade to make easy money. It is also one of the contributing factors of HIV/AIDS transmission. Girls who hawk on the street are exposed to sexual harassment and abuse which sometime resulted to unwanted pregnancy and there after teenage mothers still struggling to take care of themselves.

Another option for her is to get married so that the boys can go to school. She is forced into marry to a wealthy man so that he can care take of her family. This is injustice to the girl. She sacrificed her future for her family. My mama was the second daughter of her parent. She was forced in become a maid for several years and was later forced into married so that there will be enough resource for others. She ended up as an illiterate. Today, she laments so much and wished she had someone to advice her better to purse her education or had run out of home to acquire her education. More girls serve as housemaids without education just to help their family.

I plead that you use your good office to achieve the goal 2 (to achieve universal primary education) and goal 3 (to promote gender equality and empower women) of the MDGs. To raise national awareness on girl-child education, increasing political and financial commitment through advocacy and sensitization of policy makers at all levels, parents, school authorities, other leaders and girls themselves. Establish mentoring program in school for girls and female teachers and to provide more girls' only schools where appropriate facilities (including access to safe water and separate toilets for girls) and instructional materials for the promotion of quality education. Ensure that girls who dropped out of school as a result of early marriages and/or teenage pregnancy should be encouraged to return to school.

Poverty could be the root cause but a girls’ future should not be traded for nothing is more valuable that education of a girl. Remember, the saying, when you train a girl, you train a nation. Help us build our nation Nigeria.
May you find the Grace and strength to carry out the task ahead for women and girls.

Your’s faithfully

Vivian Emesowum
Nigeria

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As the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women officially begins its work this month, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What is YOUR vision and recommendation for UN Women? We invite you to raise your voice by writing a letter to UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet outlining your recommendation for how this new UN agency can truly affect change on the ground to promote gender equality and uphold the rights and needs of women both on a local and global scale.
Learn more: http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/international-violence-agai...

Comments

Potter's picture

Wonderful letter

Vivian! You do two very effective and inspiring things in your eloquent letter. First you are graceous in recognizing Ms. Banchelet's accomplishment in becoming the Executive Director of UN Women. More importantly, you acknowledge your responsibility to speak on behalf of Nigerian women. Your statement, "If I fail to do this, you may not able to extend your good works to my women and it will be my fault," shows your determination to join UN Women as a vocal advocate. If I were Ms. Banchelet, I would be so encouraged to know that Vivian is out there in Nigeria with a clear and determined voice. You offer yourself as an ally. This is such a powerful statement! I was cheering for you as i read your letter!

vivian's picture

Dearest Mama, I am happy you

Dearest Mama,

I am happy you love my letter to the UN Women, i did not want to write this letter because of my busy activities at work but since i know how powerful a voice can be, i find the time to draft out this letter. Seeing girls within my comunity not attending because of poverty and some drop at of school due to unwanted pregnancy. I believe that with my voice, i can relate these things to the UN Women so that she can extend her work to Nigeria.

Thank you for reading my post thoroughly and for your encouraging words. You are a blessing to me on world pulse.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

Potter's picture

It's a great letter!

How can she ignore Nigeria with voices like yours!

jadefrank's picture

Thank you!

Dearest Vivian,

Thank you for participating in this campaign, by using your voice and speaking out for women in Nigeria, and clearly outlining the importance of fulfilling MGD goals of ensuring universal primary education and women's empowerment. Your letter is beautifully written and your voice is powerful!

In the coming weeks, we will compile your letters and share your voices with the GEAR Campaign, who have been working closely with UN Women to ensure the inclusion of civil society groups, and through the PulseWire community, grassroots women leaders, as they set their agenda. We will also be sending your letters directly to Michele Bachelet and other senior leaders of the newly formed UN agency, to demonstrate the effectiveness for sourcing opinion, knowledge and needs from the global grassroots women's movement through our online community. Through this, we hope to open a portal for our community to have a direct line of influence within the UN Women agency.

I will keep you updated on the progress of our campaign!

In friendship and solidarity,
Jade

vivian's picture

Look forward to the update

Hi Jade

Participating in this campaign is one thing i almost missed out because of my busy schedule at work. I am glad, i finally made it to add my voice to others and relate it to my women here in Nigeria. i am so glad to hear that these letters will be sent to Michele Bachelet directly, that is good. I appreciate the information and look forward to more updates.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

vivian's picture

Look forward to the update

Hi Jade

Participating in this campaign is one thing i would have missed due to my busy schedule at work, am glad, i finally made it to give my country women a voice in the UN. I am also happy to hear that these letters will be sent to Michele directly.

Thank you for the information provided nd i look forward to further updates.

Vivian

''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

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