The disbursement of scholarships to meritorious boys and girls in West African was heightening girls’ interest and success in science subjects, ADV learned from sources on Tuesday.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari made the statement on Monday during the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN headquarters, New York, a statement said.
Mr. Buhari made the statement in his capacity as current Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Represented at in New York by Hajia Aisha Abubakar, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Buhari said ECOWAS had offered 970 scholarships to brilliant boys and girls in the region during past year.
He said that with the scholarships, girls were now increasingly subscribing to scientific and technical subjects such as agricultural research, biotechnology, molecular biology, mechanics, civil engineering and other technical and vocational courses hitherto dominated by boys.
“This programme has also significantly contributed to awareness creation on gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, child marriage and early pregnancy,” he said.
Buhari said ECOWAS was actively working to fight against exclusion, inequalities and the generational transmission of poverty in order to accelerate change with a strong social impact.
He also listed the ECOWAS interventions and accomplishments to include programme of support on the reproductive health of women and girls.
“Through this programme, ECOWAS has successfully treated and reintegrated nearly 1,500 women and girls suffering from obstetric.
“This programme is made up of three components, namely surgical repair of the fistula, the rehabilitation of the cured woman through financial and technical support,” he said.
The Nigerian president said the ’50 Million Women Speak Platform’ project was aimed at empowering and helping women entrepreneurs to improve their skills to access financial and non-financial information.
“All these efforts are aimed at achieving the regional common market with a particular focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” President Buhari concluded.