Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said in Abuja, Thursday that the northern part of the country has the highest level of illiteracy rate in the country with 70 percent of its people uneducated.Atiku, who spoke at a public presentation of a book 'Re-thinking the Legal Framework for Rights of Women and Girl-Child in Nigeria,' in honour of His wife, Amina Titi Atiku Abubakar, also said that 38 percent of women in Nigeria lack formal education while only four percent of them have higher education.
He further explained that about 10 million Nigerian children are currently school dropouts with women constituting 60 percent of them, saying about 22 percent of teenage girls in Nigeria have at least one unwanted pregnancy.
Atiku who spoke on the title “Protecting the Rights of Nigerian a Women and the Girl Child Amidst Insecurity,” said the development is more prevalent in the north than in the southern part of the country.
He said, “There is no doubt that the rights of women and girls need to be protected and promoted. As a country, we are currently not doing enough in that regard, not in educating them, not in promoting and caring for their health and not in dealing with crimes against them such as rape and several others.
“WOTCLEF believes that every child has a right to life, to education, to leisure, to recreational activities and to develop mentally and emotionally, and to protection from any form of harm.
“Perhaps no greater harm can be done to a girl-child than denying her an education. And it is also a great harm to the society. Educating girls is vital because girls who acquire education tend to become better mothers, have fewer and healthier children.
“Indeed, as UNICEF points out, every additional year of schooling reduces the probability of child mortality by five to ten percent. And if you look around your various communities you are likely to find that children whose mothers are educated tend to be educated themselves.
“Figures from the United Nations, national reports and studies initiated by non-governmental organizations always show that girls, as a group, have lower literacy rates, received less health care, and are often more impoverished than boys.