IDG 2019: Stand With Girls to Help Them Change the World
Dr. Ugochi Ohajuruka is a public health practitioner and the founder of Global G.L.O.W. HerStory partner Health Aid For All Initiative (HAFAI) in Nigeria. As an incredibly strong, accomplished woman who works alongside girls every day, we had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Ugochi about the importance of supporting and empowering girls from a young age. She also provided some valuable insight on how to give girls the support they need today to allow them to be the change makers and leaders of tomorrow.
Global G.L.O.W.: Dr. Ugochi, why do you think it is so important for people to support girls?
Dr. Ugochi: A lot of young girls are naive, fragile and can’t speak up for themselves, due to their patriarchal traditions which made them feel inferior to men. Girls should be encouraged to stand up for themselves in order to become who they aspire to be in the future. There are also people and laws that discriminate against girls and women in society. There should be guiding principles that protect women and teenage girls in making choices and decisions. Especially the uneducated, marginalized and less privileged. We all need to support girls irrespective of our culture, age, and gender because it is a human rights issue. Let’s stop gender discrimination and encourage gender equality and promote equal opportunity, we all deserve to be treated equally.
“It is important to stand up for girls because if they are given the chance, opportunity, support and a little push, they will become great leaders of tomorrow.” – Dr. Ugochi Ohajuruka
Global G.L.O.W.: And what are some ways people can get involved to give girls the support they need?
Dr. Ugochi: There are several ways to support girls and their dreams:
- Listen to their problems and provide their needs. Support them financially, academically, mentally and socially
- Understand their passion and advise them accordingly towards achieving their dreams in decision making
- Invest in their education, teach them core values/good morals, listen to them, encourage and support their dreams financially, academically and otherwise
- Celebrate their achievements and compliment their talents
- Help them research their dreams and set attainable goals
- Keep them in school by empowering them through education and skill acquisition training. Provide them with menstrual supplies/products and listen to their problems, advise and support them accordingly
Girls are future mothers and tomorrow’s leaders. They are important and should be handled with care and be treated with respect. Counsel the inexperienced among them and instruct the ignorant. Be their voice when they can’t speak for themselves and protect them against those that deprive them of their rights.
About Dr. Ugochi Ohajuruka
Dr. Ugochi Ohajuruka is a Public Health Practitioner. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Microbiology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an MBBS degree in Medicine. She proceeded to obtain a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom and a certificate on International Women’s Health and Human Rights from the Stanford University, USA. She also has a Certification on Leadership and Management in Health from The University of Washington.
She is a Maternal And Adolescent Health Advocate who believes that girls’ Empowerment requires Education, Skills and Knowledge about their Reproductive Health and Rights.
Dr. Ugochi Ohajuruka is the Founder Health Aid For All Initiative (HAFAI), a Non-Governmental Organization that is focused on Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health and its interconnections with Gender Equality, Education, Environment and Economic Empowerment.
She has represented Nigeria at the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) and at the United Nations Committee on the Status of Women (UNCSW) New York, USA where she was a forum Speaker and Panelist She has won several International Awards, one of which is the Prestigious Alexander Price For Women Award by the Common Wealth in the U.K and the Here for Good Award by Laureate, the Largest Global Network of U.K Universities.
Dr Ugochi is happily married and blessed with four lovely children.