Stop preparing girls for early marriage, don urges parents

The Chairperson, International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists, African Regional Network,  Dr Uduakobong Okon, has enjoined parents to prepare the girl child for higher responsibilities rather than packaging them for early marriage.

Speaking at a briefing to highlight the pre-African Regional Conference of International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists billed to take place in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Okon attributed the challenges of the girl-child to parents’ adherence to African cultural beliefs.

She said parents give more preference to the male children in acquiring education in science technology and engineering while the girl-child is prepared to be a good housewife.

Okon said, “Parents are often telling their daughters not to study certain courses especially science, technology and engineering courses. They threaten their daughters a lot. They say, if you study mechanical engineering, you will not find a husband. The child becomes intimidated.”

Okon who is a lecturer in the Department of Vocational Education at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, explained that the conference was aimed at promoting and encouraging the girl-child towards engineering and science-related education.

She added that the conference would also focus on sensitising female children, parents and stakeholders in education on the need to develop interest in science and engineering courses, not to allow their gender to intimidate them.

According to her, the major objective of the conference was to seek partnership with government and non-governmental organisations for scholarship for the girl child and to promote science and engineering education among women.