The Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria has expressed concerns over the effects of insecurity on access to quality education for the girl-child.
The National Amirah, FOMWAN, Dr Halima Jibril, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday at the sideline of an event in commemoration of the World Water Day celebration in Abuja.
According to her, women and girls bear the burden of water provision in majority of homes, in urban and rural areas, which further exposes them to insecurity such as kidnapping and sexual abuse.
“For women and girls, fetching water for household use is an unending lifetime routine which starts from childhood, through to adulthood and old age.
“To the girl-child, insecurity is an added challenge because even as she goes to fetch water from the stream or from the river, she is at great risk of being kidnapped or sexually abused,” she said.
She revealed that the association had commenced projects nationwide to provide water in rural communities which would reduce the burden and reduce the risk of sexual abuses on women and girls, as well as promote their health conditions.
“This will go a long way in enhancing community well being, promoting the health of women and children.
“It will also ensure that girls stay in school instead of going out to fetch water when they should be in school,” she said.
Jibril, therefore, encouraged the public to protect the girl-child from all forms of abuses in the society and ensure perpetrators of such abuses did not go unpunished to serve a deterrent to others.
“There are several issues that we all need to address collectively in conjunction with the government to protect the girl-child from all source of harassment whether at school or other parts of the community,” she said.
The Amira also reiterated the commitment of FOMWAN toward protecting women’s rights and improving development dividends for women, children and youths.