Yesterday, the 11th of October, 2017, the world celebrated the International Day of the Child and it was a time of sober reflection for me and some others ladies, because we really sat down to think about the struggles of being a girl child at such a time like this, and trust me, the struggle is real and it’s a similar struggle everywhere as almost every girl child can relate to it, while pondering on the struggles, we also proffered some solutions on how to overcome these struggles and achieve all that we as girls all over can achieve.
On Rights and Privileges:
In Africa, we record a high level of marginalization of the girl child as she is seen as inferior and less than her peers of the opposite gender, and so are denied a lot of privileges that should be accorded them for being humans.
I have been on many occasions denied my due rights at various times just because, gender and most times if not for the strong foot I put forward demanding my rights, I would not have received my due rights.
In Education, we are still battling to inculcate the importance of female education into the minds and hearts of many persons, especially Africans, and while we do this, we battle against old time cultural practices that seek to make this impossible or somewhat difficult.
I remembering growing up when I heard my father say, “She is a lady and does not need education as one day soon she will be married off to some man, who would have her stay at home doing nothing”, this hunted me for sometime till I got around to understanding myself and all I am capable of, and I decided not let my gender define me, and I believe I am not the only one that had to battle this sort of mindset while growing up.
In Africa, we have a society where the purpose of a girl child is marriage and all they are their lives, they are trained and nurtured on how to be good home managers alone, paying no attention to their other skills or abilities that are not linked or limited to the home front.
Marriage is wonderful, but when it becomes all a girl aspires to, then something is truly wrong and should be fixed.