#IWD2022: When more girls are empowered with quality education, more powerful women are created

Providing every child an equal chance at thriving starts in the classroom. This has become germane as the world celebrated the 2022 International Women’s Day celebration, aimed at promoting gender equity across various sectors and celebrating women who have emerged pioneers and trailblazers in their respective fields.

According to a World Bank report, gender equality in Nigeria was reported as 0.3333 percent in 2020, referencing the ratio of the gross enrolment rate of girls to boys in primary and secondary education levels in both public and private schools. Education is one of the most important aspects of human development and eliminating gender disparity at all levels of education would help to increase the status and capabilities of women. When more girls are empowered with life changing education, more powerful and independent women are created. Women have an enormous impact on the well-being of their families and societies, but their potential is sometimes not realized because of discriminatory social norms and incentives.

At Bridge Nigeria, we continue to help elevate the girl child’s prospects through the provision of quality education as a foundation for broader life opportunities in addition to the teaching materials and gender sensitive instruction in our pedagogical approach, designed to empower and support girls.

“We must honour the potential of girls everywhere. “Every girl has the power to do anything, they just need the opportunity and a strong educational foundation. We must make sure that every child, everywhere, has an equal chance at thriving. Making sure girls have equal opportunities starts in the classroom.” Says Foyinsola Akinjayeju, Bridge Nigeria’s Managing Director.

Every year, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, this year, the theme is gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. A key mission this year is to break the bias and challenge discrimination, stereotypes, prejudice as we seek a world of diversity, inclusion and gender equality.

Elizabeth Daudu, a primary 5 teacher at Bridge Daddy Savage Academy in Fagba is a strong supporter of women and girl’s empowerment. Elizabeth says that she is passionate about the improvement and academic success of every child that passes under her tutelage. She noted that her role as a female teacher gives her the opportunity to inspire and have a positive impact on lives through her teaching as well as correct them and help them maximise the potential that God has bestowed in them.

“My advice to children, particularly the girl child, is to believe in themselves, that nothing is difficult with perseverance, hard work, dedication, and that they are their greatest cheerleader. They shouldn’t wait for others to cheer them on, rather they should focus on where they are going and cheer themselves till they get there and achieve whatever they aspire to do.” She said.

Another teacher, Joy Ngwu urged girls to love and believe in themselves, adding that when more girls are empowered with quality education, more independent women are created. According to Joy, when we empower women, we empower the society because women are the heart of society. Adding that she admires women who bring change to society and if there is one thing she had the power to do, it would be to ensure every single child out there is educated.

A parent, Mrs. Sophie Nosakhare stated that she has witnessed the benefits of gender equality right from her workplace. Women are now able to get equal opportunities without gender discrimination, they are able to voice their opinions without fear of prejudice. She added that when more women take up leadership positions, it motivates young girls to believe they too can thrive as women leaders.

NewGlobe, the parent company of Bridge has supported over 500,000 girls to become confident, empowered young women, as they progress in learning and skills from early childhood education through junior secondary school. In over a decade, the organisation has lived by the UN’s women empowerment principles in their daily work of supporting girls’ education, women’s leadership in the communities they serve, and in ensuring women’s voices and leadership are present throughout the organisation.