Digital inclusion of girls crucial to wealth distribution, development – UNICEF

Ms Rushnan Murzata, Deputy Country Representative, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), says digital inclusion of girls is crucial to ensuring equitable distribution of wealth and development in the country.

Murtaza stated this in Abuja, at a Policy Dialogue, as part of events to mark the International Day of the Girl-Child (IDGC).

She said there was need to increase investment to close the exclusive gaps across geographic lines and opportunities, created by the digital divide in order to accommodate more girls in the space.

Speaking at the event, the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, represented by His Chief of Staff, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, urged stakeholders and development partners to identify gaps in existing laws that needed amendments.

This, according Omo-Agege, is to effectively accommodate the rights of girls to access digital technology.

On her part, Miss Mariam Samani, the President, 2021 IDGC, said increased investment in the country’s ICT sector would facilitate easy access to the digital space and increase inclusion of the girl-child in ICT.

Also, AIG Aisha Abubakar, Gender Adviser to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, explained that the digital space had security implications, and advised girls to be vigilant while using social media platforms.

Abubakar, during a session on “Safety and Insecurity in Schools; Impact on Adolescents Girls Retention and Transition in Schools”, advised girls to learn the act of self-defence and avoid divulging information on social media.

On her part, Mrs. Abiola Salihu, representative of Education In Emergency Working Group, said Nigeria recorded the highest number of abduction of learners and education personnel between 2020 and 2021.

Salihu, therefore stressed the need to consider the Gender Impact while implementing the Safe School Declaration in Nigeria.

Speaking at the event also, Dr Asabe Vilita-Bashir, Director General, National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), said ICT skills would ensure personal security, better access to education and jobs, financial inclusion and access to basic healthcare information for girls.