Social media week so far has been a time to connect with some amazing people! It has also been quite easy to identify sessions that are of interest, register and attend – all seamlessly without having to print out one piece of paper!
During #smwLagos week of meeting people, learning about strategies to navigate the world of blogging and social media I also attended CODE RED – an event to connect African Women Rising In Media And Tech.
What was the so what about the event? Apart from meeting other women (and few men) interested in media and tech the main focus of the event was to talk about, highlight the gaps and decide to take action to empower girls. Some of the statistics that were shared –
- About 11 percent of girls complete secondary school
- A quarter of the girls are married before the age of 15
- Maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria is estimated to be 545 deaths per 100,000 births (versus UK and the US at 12 and 21 respectively)
- Only 17% of women have bank accounts in Nigeria
- Women in Nigeria have one of the lowest rates of formal sector female entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa
- When a girl completes Secondary School , she is more likely to earn up to 23% more in wages over the course of her lifetime and raise healthier children.
It does startle you..or at least it startled me that amidst advancement of women in media and technology, more investment and increased interest in Africa, there is the other real side with girls who are limited without the ability to do things because a system, a culture, a family has put a limit stopping her from being and exploring all that she can be.
A lady in the session made a good comment that we don’t have to wait to change the whole of Nigeria. We can all commit to start with one girl at a time. Rather than buying another piece of jewellery could you decide to support a girl in your community to gain a skill or go to school?
We all have to do our part and there is so much we can do. Many times you don’t even have to search too far than the girl in your house who is cleaning your house and caring for your children. She probably has dreams and desires that are more than what she is doing now. What can you do to help her get closer to her goals?
Minna Salami, started the session with a “little girl prayer” and ended with the same prayer that our daughters will not grow up in a world where girls are limited, abused and subjected. There is a place for prayer but there is also a place for action to backup the prayers. We can and must effect change in our own way bit by bit. Every little drop of water eventually fills a bucket. Thanks to Girl Hub and Tech Cabal for putting the CODE RED event together.
GIRL HUB NIGERIA works to empower adolescent girls and to keep girls in schools by activating partners.
Do you have positive stories of changing a girls’ life? or how you plan to make a change? Please share and encourage someone.