Hawking, petty trading exposes girl-child to sexual violence – NGO

PHOTO: Reuters

Hawking and petty trading is largely responsible for the alarming rate of sexual violence against the girl-child, Ms Jamila Eneika, the founder El-meela Heritage Support Foundation, an NGO, has said.

Eneika made the remark on Friday in Kaduna during a sensitisation campaign on child right protection with the theme: “Get Involved’’ organised by the NGO.

She said that the practice exposed the girl-child to all forms of abuse by unsuspecting neighbours and people in the street, who take advantage of their innocence to sexually abuse them.

“The girl-child is most vulnerable to sexual violence because she is usually sent to hawk goods on the streets instead of going to school and she is thus exposed to hooligans.’’

She added that such hooligans could take advantage of the girl-child and rape her.

Eneika expressed sadness that several cases of rape of the girl-child were not reported because of fear of being stigmatised by the society.

She alleged that most times security agents frustrate efforts of complainants in such cases, since the victims were usually the less privileged.

She called on parents to take advantage of Kaduna state free education programme to enrol their girl-child in schools to protect them from sexual violence.

She noted that free education programme of the government had assisted parents with the burden of tuition fees, buying school of uniforms, feeding and other sundry charges.

Eneika said that her foundation was partnering with Child Protection Network to sensitise women on sexual violence and how to report cases of abuse.

She said the sensitisation was necessary as parents needed to know that it was not embarrassing to educate their child on issues relating to sex.

She said that the girl-child must be empowered with entrepreneurial skills to break the cycle of poverty which exposes them to sexual abuse.

She called for stricter punishment for offenders.


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