By: Elijah Ugani, Calabar
The wife of the Cross River State Governor, Dr. Linda Ayade has admonished and pleaded with teenage girls in the state in particular and the world at large to exercise some restraint and wait until the are ready before having sex to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Her Excellency made the call in a press release made available to theluminenews and signed by her Senior Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary, Pastor Fred Abua in commemoration of the 2019 International Day of the Girl-Child.
The statement reads in parts “Today, October, 11th is the International Day of the Girl Child as declared by the United Nations since 2012. This day raises awareness of gender inequalities faced by the 1.1 billion girls in the world today. The day provides a good opportunity to advance discussion on issues affecting girls such as son preference; child marriage; lack of education; forced prostitution; molestation; rape; etc.
“It also affords us the opportunity to discuss issues like policy, legislation, discriminatory cultural practices and the need to enforce sanctions against those who violate the rights of the girl-child as we have often witnessed in some parts of our dear state.
“It has been estimated that 1.25 million induced abortions occurred in Nigeria in 2012. That number represents 56% of unintended pregnancies that were resolved by abortion. In other words, 33 abortions per 1,000 women aged between 15 and 49 in that year.
“The disturbing figures above raise a red flag for young girls. Girls must wait until they are ready before having sex. Otherwise, they risk unwanted pregnancy which is often an impediment to improvements in the educational, economic and social status of girls all over the world”
The further noted that Sexual activity also exposes girls to the risk of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. STDs include more than 20 different diseases, some of which may lead to chronic pain, infertility, heart diseases, arthritis, cancer, birth defects, and even death if left untreated. Time Magazine reports that the number of cases of AIDS among teenagers doubles every 14 months. The most effective way to prevent STDs is abstinence from sexual activities.
The theme for this year is “Girlforce: Unscripted and Unstoppable!” Continuing, the release added that “After 25 years since 30,000 women gathered in Beijing for the World Conference on Women with a determination to recognize the rights of women and girls as human rights, girls have moved from dreaming to achieving! More girls are attending and competing school, fewer girls are getting married or becoming mothers while still children, and more girls are gaining the skills they need to survive and excel in the future world of work.
“I encourage all Cross Riverians to invest in the girl-child because that will be an investment in the future of our state”