The Iyalode of Lagos, Chief Bintu Fatima Tinubu laments that it is unacceptable that 60 percent of Nigerian women are illiterates
Speaking at the fourth edition of the Iyalode of Lagos Mentoring Initiative held at Queen’s College, Yaba, Lagos, with the girl-child as the primary focus, she said that the reason behind the high rate of illiteracy was because it is still a waste of resources educating the girl-child in some parts of the country.
“In Nigeria today, statistics shows that women constitute 50 per cent of Nigerian population but ironically, less than 39 per cent of the total female population is literate as against the 63 percent of the literate male population. This is because within parts of our society, it is still considered irrelevant and a waste of resources educating the girl-child. A notion which is completely wrong and primitive; the girl-child must be trained to be a responsible member of the society, seen as the bedrock and future of any community or nation aspiring sustainable development,” she said.
Over the years, Mrs Tinubu said, the nation has witnessed a decline in the moral consciousness and societal values among the youth, especially the girl-child.
“Decency, courteous behaviour and a sense of doing what is right is viewed as out-dated. As mothers, grandmothers, and nation builders, we cannot sit back and fold our arms, wishing these problems would disappear. This challenge poses a unique opportunity for every adult female to partner in the quest of sensitising and re-educating our female children on the need to develop worthy self-esteem,” She said.
“The theme of today’s occasion “building the winning attitude in every girl-child” is a vital and relevant topic of discuss at this time. As it not only helps to break down the pre-conceived idea of the irrelevant of the girl–child and branding them as second class citizens, but also empowers them with information and knowledge so as to stand in the place of victory over every societal barriers imposed on them.
The wife of the of Solid Minerals’ Minister Mrs Bisi Fayemi was guest speaker.The event also featured wife of Lagos state Governor, Mrs Bolanle Amode, wife of Power, Works and Housing Minister Mrs Abimbola Fashola, Member, Lagos State House of Assembly Adefunmilayo Tejuoso, former Lagos State Deputy Governor Alhaja Sinatu Ojikutu, Queen’s College Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Chairman Mrs Beatrice Akhetuamen, the Principal Dr Lami Amodu, wife of Secretary to the Lagos State Government Prof Ibiyemi Bello.
The wife of the Lagos State Governor spoke about some of the challenges faced by the Girl-Child which includes assault, child labour, open discrimination, rape, early forced into marriages and domestic violence among others.
“These challenges have clearly taken a toll on them, by gradually destroying their sense of security and self-confidence, making them fall short of expectations. At times, the challenges come in the area of education, where the girls suffer discrimination, by not enjoying equal opportunities with the boys,” she said.
Mrs Ambode urged the pupils to believe in themselves and adopt the ‘I can’ attitude that leaves them with the confidence that they too can do it.
“It equips you with courage and assurance that, if that boy can do it, I can do it even better. It is the sort of spirit which declares that physics, chemistry and further maths, are not for boys alone.
“I am sure that a number of you saw the recent West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) results where some girls top with nine distinctions. This is the winning attitude we are talking about. If they can do it, then why can’t you?” she queried.
She implored the girls to work hard in whatever they do.