2012 International Youth Day: Building a Better World by Partnering with Youth

“To unleash the power of young people, we need to partner with them.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Omo Omoregbe  reminds youths of their civic duties:

Omo OmoregbeThe youths are the leaders of tomorrow; the youth should obey all the laws of his/her country, the youth is expected to pay all the taxes due to him as at when due, the youth owes loyalty to the government, his community.and even to himself.

The youth should be prepared to defend his country when it is threatened, the youth should always take good care of public property (whether placed in his custody or not) whenever he comes in contact with them, the youth should be honest, the youth should obey the head of state or government, the youth should obey the national anthem of his country and should not hesitate to serve his nation in any capacity (he is capable of) when called upon to do so.

Lastly, the youth should show respect to the national flag which stands as a symbol of national authority.

According to Chidima Catherine Nwaubani

Youths are the key stone in the society. They set up a lead for their peers and younger siblings, they mark and keep a conscious watch on their every day life and hang on to good ideas which can help them and the society move to greater heights. They distribute new ideas to their peers and colleagues. The youths are the ones mainly recruited into politics and the military, because they are still strong and focused. They harbour possibilities for a bright and ambitious future.

Ehis Omoregbe lists out some other roles the youth can play in societyEhis Omoregbe

  • To ensure the longevity of our planet,
  • to educate children about their rights,
  • To help other young people attain a higher level of intellectual ability,
  • to become qualified adults,
  • to shape the nation’s future,
  • to vote and be voted for,
  • to help the government and private sector in implementation of national policies,
  • to recognise problems and solve them,
  • to aspire for entrepreneurship rather than conventional employment,
  • to teach values and morals to peers and offspring, as well as help them become responsible, productive adults with promising futures.

Edekin Angela

Edekin Angela describes the key role of youth in the society as being:

To renew, refresh and maintain a civilization. The youths are the primary agents of change in the society, the workforce in the society and the society’s backbone. The youth can change the future of the society with their courageous behaviour.

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International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

“On this International Day, I pledge the full support of the UN system to cooperate with indigenous peoples, including their media, to promote the full implementation of the Declaration.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

2012 Theme: “Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices.” Here are some voices from Nigerian teenagers on their ethnic groups!

“What I love about my ethnic group is the unity among us, rich cultural heritage, their tradition, and social beliefs.” – Sharon Iyere

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“An ethnic group is a group of humans, individuals who share a common,  unique self identity. An ethnic group is also called a ”people” or a ”people group.”

Some words used to refer to a group as a seperate ethnic group are: tribe, nation, lineage, family, society, community and heritage.

What I love must about my ethnic group is our tradition and also our dressing. Our tradition and dressing is so unique!

Tradition, by the way, is the transmission of customs or belief from generation to generation. Things that were done in the times of our forefathers are still existing, like the festival that is organised annually for both adults, youth and children.

Our dressing is a very unique one that would make everybody love to be part of the group. I am so interested in the dressing, because people do not wear it everyday. It is worn occassionally by both the youth, adult nd children. The dress code is two wrapper, a blouse, big headtie and beads in both hand and neck.

What I mostly love about my ethnic group is the tradition and dressing, especially the dressing because when we come out with our dressing among other people, it looks so unique and attractive on them!” – Angela Edekin

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I’m from Edo State, my ethnic group is Edo. What i love most is their festival and masquerades;

The Edos have a very rich tradition of festival and masquerades through which the people either appease their various gods and goddesses, initiate men and women into age grades or just as a traditional get together.

The Igue Festival takes preeminence among other festivals which are celebrated in edo state. It is celebrated every December by the Oba of Benin to usher in the new year and as a thanksgiving for the outgoing one. – Omo Omoregbe

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Edo is the name of a place, people and language of an ethnic group, and it happens to be my ethnic group.

Edo speaking ethnic groups include the Esan, Afemai, Isoko and Urhobo.

WHAT I LOVE MOST is our music. Edo State is blessed with a large coterie of nationally and internationally renowned performers e.g Sunny Okosun, Peter King, Felix Duke and many others who have flown the flag of Edo State creditably.

In Edo state, there is no dance or song without satirical connotation or bearing. – Ehis Omoregbe Continue reading

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s Message on the 101st International Women’s Day

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Gender equality and the empowerment of women are gaining ground worldwide.  There are more women Heads of State or Government than ever, and the highest proportion of women serving as Government ministers.  Women are exercising ever greater influence in business.  More girls are going to school, and are growing up healthier and better equipped to realize their potential.

Despite this momentum, there is a long way to go before women and girls can be said to enjoy the fundamental rights, freedom and dignity that are their birthright and that will guarantee their well-being.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world’s rural areas. Rural women and girls — to whom this year’s International Women’s Day is devoted — make up one quarter of the global population, yet routinely figure at the bottom of every economic, social and political indicator, from income and education to health to participation in decision-making.

Numbering almost half a billion smallholder farmers and landless workers, rural women are a major part of the agricultural labour force. They perform most of the unpaid care work in rural areas.  Yet rural women continue to be held back in fulfilling their potential.  If rural women had equal access to productive resources, agricultural yields would rise by 4 per cent, strengthening food and nutrition security and relieving as many as 150 million people from hunger.  Rural women, if given the chance, could also help end the hidden development tragedy of stunting, which affects almost 200 million children worldwide.

Discriminatory laws and practices affect not just women but entire communities and nations.  Countries where women lack land ownership rights or access to credit have significantly more malnourished children.  It makes no sense that women farmers receive only 5 per cent of agricultural extension services.  Investing in rural women is a smart investment in a nation’s development.

The plight of the world’s rural women and girls mirrors that of women and girls throughout society — from the persistence of the glass ceiling to pervasive violence at home, at work and in conflict; from the prioritization of sons for education to the hundreds of thousands of women who die each year in the act of giving life for want of basic obstetric care.  Even those countries with the best records still maintain disparity in what women and men are paid for the same work, and see continuing under-representation of women in political and business decision-making.

On this International Women’s Day, I urge Governments, civil society and the private sector to commit to gender equality and the empowerment of women — as a fundamental human right and a force for the benefit of all.  The energy, talent and strength of women and girls represent humankind’s most valuable untapped natural resource.

How can we, as a culture and as members of the global community, involve, educate, and inspire girls in a positive way?

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A GPI girl’s response to Blog for International Women’s Day

We as members of the global community can educate girls in a positive way by either going to schools, or having different organisations spread out in different places to help transfer messages which would inspire girls positively.

HOW WE AS A CULTURE AND AS MEMBERS OF THE GLOBAL COMMUNITY CAN INVOLVE, EDUCATE AND INSPIRE GIRLS IN POSITIVE WAYS

This article is by GPI girl Ewanose Ikede as part of the Blog for International Women’s Day programme.

Girls need safe, structured places to learn and link to basic services that, if absent, can prevent them from learning and functioning within our society. Thus, people’s culture and the global community at large need to positively involve, educate, and inspire them with a view to bringing out the best in them, for the benefit of the society.

Everyone (especially women) needs to inspire today’s girl child by positively influencing her all round development. One of the basic roles of the society in doing this lies in the area of cultural practices. The structure and practice of the African society for instance, limits the scope of the girl in almost in all ramifications. Females in general, are basically limited to domestic functions. They are not given the chance to fairly compete with the male folks, whether politically, religiously or otherwise. The saddest aspect is that of  the few women who have been able to break into the mainstream of the society, a greater percentage of them have refused, neglected and/or failed to inspire our today’s girls either by their actions or inactions.

Some of the ways to positively inspire, involve and educate our today’s girls is for everyone to provide safe, conducive and effective environment for our girls to get inspired and educated and thus, get them involved in the general development of our society. To achieve this, girls need the following:

Physical and Psychological Safety: Safe and health-promoting facilities, practices that increase safe peer group interaction among our girls and decrease unsafe or confrontational peer interactions need to be in place.

Supportive Relationships: Warmth, closeness, connectedness, good communication, caring, support, guidance, secure attachment, and responsiveness should be provided for our girls. Thus, helping to get them inspired to exploit their potentials.

Opportunities to Belong: Opportunities for meaningful inclusion, regardless of one’s gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disabilities; social inclusion, social engagement and integration; opportunities for socio-cultural identity formation; support for cultural and bicultural competence must be given to our today’s girls.

Positive Social Norms: Rules of behavior, expectations, injunctions, ways of doing things, values and morals, obligations for service should be equitably applied notwithstanding the gender.

Support for Efficacy: Girl-based empowerment practices that support autonomy, making a real difference in one’s community, and being taken seriously. Practices that includes enabling, responsibility granting, meaningful challenge. Practices that focus on improvement also ways to educate and inspire our today’s girls.

Opportunities for Skill Building: Another way to educate and inspire our today’s girls include opportunities to learn physical, intellectual, psychological, emotional, social skills; exposure to intentional learning experiences; opportunities to learn cultural literacy, media literacy, communication skills, and good habits of mind; preparation for adult employment; opportunities to develop social and cultural capital.

Conclusively, support, opportunity, social competence and physical competence, are some the ways to positively involve, educate and inspire girls today. By way of advice,  females need to unite and work collectively for the benefit of our girls. According to an Ethiopian Proverb, “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion”.

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