The International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations which is celebrated annually every 11th October; it is also called the Day of the Girl. It was first celebrated on October 11, 2012.
The main aim of the day is to promote girl’s empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face. The 2018 theme for the international day of the girl child is: With Her: A Skilled Girl Force.
Of the 1 billion young people including 600 million adolescent girls that will enter the work force in the next decade, more than 90% of those living in developing countries will work in the informal sector with little or no pay coupled with abuse and exploitation. This implies that the adolescent girl child needs to be prepared and well equipped as well as highly skilled for the future.
Adolescents in Nigeria have a clear vision for their futures. They know who they want to be and what they want to achieve, however, there are economic, social, and contextual factors that often stand in the way of achieving these dreams.
For Nigerian Girls Aged 15-19, 23% of girls have begun childbearing by age 19 and 9% of adolescent girls who had a child reported their last child was unwanted or mistimed.
25% of pregnancies end in unsafe abortions and adolescents contribute 60% of the estimated 600,000 induced abortions annually.
6% of girls use any contraceptive method with only 5% of girls using any modern contraceptive method.12 % of girls’ complete secondary school and only 1% complete post- secondary education. Many girls drop out of school because of an unplanned pregnancy.
Adolescents 360 project Nigeria through the 9ja Girls program is building the skills of adolescent girls across 10 states in the country. The goal of the project is to improve the lives and health of adolescent girls aged 15 – 19 in Nigeria through the Human Centered Design (HCD) approach – which puts the girl in the center of program design and implementation.
The 9ja Girls is a program designed just for adolescent girls in Nigeria. It is founded on the principle that adolescent girls need safe spaces where they can gain skills – learn skills for life, love & health. offers adolescent girls aged 15 – 19 a variety of classes to learn skills for life, love, & health. These classes teach vocational skills as well as discuss topics related to love, relationships (dating), and health. All these builds the adolescent girl’s confidence, self-awareness and preparedness to function optimally within the larger society without fear, self-doubt and ignorance.
In the past 12 months, 9ja Girls have built the skills of over 16,000 adolescent girls aged 15 -19 years. Over 3,500 unintended pregnancies have been averted and 9ja Girls has recorded a total of 9,330 DALYs.
Adolescents girls do not have to piece together their own information – which are often cloudy and wrong. 9ja Girls offers a trusted support system aimed at building and creating an informed and empowered generation of Adolescent girls in the country, who are better prepared to join the larger society/ workforce to pursue the futures they envision for themselves.
9ja Girls – a Skilled Girl Force