The Project, Girl Summit 2016, was implemented on October 11, 2016 to celebrate the International Day of the Girl 2016 and popularized #GirlSummit #GirlData #IDG2016 #Girls2030 #GirlsTakeOver #MakeGirlsVoicesCount. Click to view Girl Summit Pictures
In sharing the global theme of the IDG, 'Girls' Progress = Goals' Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement', the Girl Summit sought to celebrate Nigeria's girls and spotlight girls inclusion in the global SDGs and what that means for Nigeria's girls. The activity-based event sought to engage, entertain and educate girls about their importance in the development of their communities, the Country and the world at large. Speaking to the topic, 'Connecting Girls Voices through data', the girls would discuss the need to collect, analyze and manage girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data that would effectively inform key policy and program decisions and adequately measure and understand the opportunities and challenges girls face and also identify and track progress towards solutions to their most pressing needs.
Celebrating the success that positions girls at the centre of the SDGs, we echo the potential of girls' progress for girls and also for their families, communities and the world at large and this is the rationale for the call to address the existing gaps in data on girls and young women, the lack of systematic analysis and limited use of existing data which limit our capacity to monitor and communicate the well-being and progress of nearly half of humanity - our girls! The Girl Summit sought to facilitate adolescent girls and young women to brainstorm and discuss these issues and make demands and recommendations to the government, to civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders and critical actors who can influence Girl Data and significantly impact the global girl data movement. #GirlData
In light of the above, Girls Voices Initiative sought the cooperation and support of Plan International Nigeria to successfully implement the Girl Summit 2016.
The Girl Summit 2016 was successfully organized by Girls Voices Initiative with support from Plan International Nigeria. And the event was attended by adolescent girls from the public and private secondary schools within the FCT, so that the event reached a substantial number of girls as desired. A total of 100 girls participated at the Girl Summit 2016, and comprised the primary target beneficiaries of the event - school girls. Also in attendance were teachers representing the schools present (and chaperoning the girls), and development partners representing some development organizations (Plan International Nigeria, Speakers' Corner Trust Nigeria, Girl Pride Circle) and media personnel from various television and radio stations.
The tone of the Summit was simple and engaging to reach the girls and mobilize their interaction. The programme of events was spot-on and targeted girls and young women as session leads, paper presenters and keynote presentation. The girls were actively involved to co-anchor the event, lead the National Anthem session, present poetry, sing special songs, ask questions and share ideas and contributions with the house. The Girl Summit was organized and conducted along with the girls and so it was indeed a celebration of girls. The event was co-anchored by a girl, a student of FUNTAJ International School. The National Anthem was led by the girls from the Government Secondary School, Nyanya. The girls from FUNTAJ International School presented a poem about the girl child and the girls from Government Secondary School, Wuse 2 presented a song about HIV&AIDS. The girls were actively involved and asked questions and shared their contributions as the sessions advanced. Girls and young women were also positioned as facilitators to make the sessions relatable and make the discussions engaging and interactive. A recent university and law school graduate who is the founder of a non-profit, Girl Pride Circle, Olaoluwa Abagun, facilitated the session on 'Girls and the SDGs'. A young woman who is one of the Trustee members of Girls Voices Initiative and experienced lawyer and development worker delivered the keynote presentation titled, 'Connecting Girls Voices through Data'. And she was supported by a panel of discussants comprising Lynda Oyedele, a recent university graduate who discussed the topic with focus on child abuse and Abimbola Adeleke who is a recent secondary school graduate discussed the topic with focus on ending child marriage. Other key discussants on the panel were randomly selected among the girls in the room and they spoke accurately on the need to be focused and avoid peer pressure.
Active development partners who supported the event delivered their welcome remarks to the girls. And they include Mr. Daniel Lartye representing Plan International Abuja, Mrs Marilyn Ogbebor representing Speakers' Corner Trust Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Akperogi representing the FCT Secondary Education Board, Mrs. Carolyn Seaman representing Girls Voices Initiative and Miss Olaoluwa Abagun representing Girl Pride Circle.
The Girl Summit Project was a pioneer project, which is intended to replicate and scale up in future years to reach girls in other states of the country. It is a non-partisan initiative which supports girls education as a strategy to empowering girls and positioning them as active voices advocating issues affecting girls in Nigeria and across the world.
The Girl Summit was a unique event and a creative innovation attracting a focused group of adolescent girls within the FCT. The girls engaged interactive discussions and presented a Communiqué at the end of the Summit. And the Communiqué would be advanced to relevant stakeholders to take action to significantly influence policy for girls. This is how girls' voices are empowered and girls are positioned to own their message and make their voices count!