Hajia Aisha Buhari has advocated for greater commitment and investment in girls’ education as panacea to problem of early marriage in many parts of Africa.
She made the call when a delegation of African Female Parliamentarians paid her a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday.
The parliamentarians were in Abuja to participate in the 41st Conference of African Parliamentary Union (APU) with the sub-theme: “Promotion of Girls’ Education as Efficient Way to Fight Early Marriage in Africa.”
Buhari who was represented by the wife of Vice-President, Mrs Dolapo Osinbajo, explained that such commitment and investment would assist the girl-child in tackling problems which were inimical to the development of womenfolk, including early marriage.
She harped on the need for girls to attain certain level of maturity and understanding of the institution of marriage in addition to being given adequate opportunity for healthy and safe transition to adulthood.
The first lady noted that early marriage for girls is usually trailed by many challenges, including abrupt interruption of the girl’s academic pursuit and Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) and other traditional practices.
She said that through her projects such as “The Future Assured” and “Aisha Buhari Foundation”, she had over the years prioritised the welfare of women and children, especially young girls.
“No doubt, family support system in Africa is solid but girls require special support in the areas of health, education and the development of life skills and empowerment,” she said.
The leader of the delegation and President of the Senate of Zimbabwe, Sen. Mabel Chinomona, commended Mrs Buhari for promoting girl-child education, women empowerment, as well as women participation in politics.
She said women faced enormous challenges including under representation in decision making bodies, intimidations, violence against girl-child, as well as the lack of opportunities.
Chinomona assured the Buhari of their commitment to make relevant legislation to ensure adequate provision for the girl-child to prosper in Africa.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the President in the office of wife of the President, Dr Hajo Sani, said the event was in recognition of the active role of women in politics.
She said “for us, this meeting is very important because it signifies that women in Africa are doing well in their respective parliaments.”