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The Girl 👧
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Every girl has a story to tell but in most cases their stories are usually a painful narration to listen to. This thought have been turning and tossing in my head for a notable period and with as much effort I have applied forcing myself to forego the situation , I have felt more anguish to my conscience.
In modern day and a few decades that have passed before my sight, I have noticed how vulnerable the girl child have been. Regardless of being left in the front line of the firing zone, we all tend to ignore them and blame them on most if not all decisions they make. In most cases they are then forced to make decisions that have regrettable repercussions.
Having been defined as the weaker gender since birth, we tend to weaken them more and more with each year they survive the harsh grinning monster that faces them everyday. To begin with the girl child is seen as a liability in the families they are brought up, being made to feel that they have certain responsibilities that are attached and expected of them. It seems as if the female child is brought up being groomed on how to become a wife and a mother, apart from that nothing is expected of them. Instead of appreciating them we tend to depreciating them, we dim their future thus resulting in most of them becoming mere gratification objects for males.
In most parts of the world the cultural mindset, religious set up, political structures and social norms expose the girl child to numerous vulnerabilities that are beyond imagination. In most poverty stricken countries and communities it is a challenge to see a girl being enrolled into primary education, even after enrollment up to completion the rate at which they drop out is highly alarming. These drop outs are mainly as a result of many factors that vary from child marriages, culture, religion and even stigmatisation. Child marriages have exposed many young girls to maternal death even if they survive maternal death they still remain at a high risk of cervical cancer let alone the aftermath of living with "Fistula", what an agony the girl child have to bear. On numerous occasions the male counterpart tend to overlook the psychological effects of stigma that the girl suffers especially when they go through the adolescence stage. At this stage it is natural that the menstural cycle commences, hence the girls begin to skip classes due to stigma, let us teach our boy child that it is nature fulfilling its course.
I once argue with an educational officer over the dismissal of female students due to pregnancy. My argument was that in some cases the male responsible for impregnating the female student will also be at the same school yet only the girl is kicked out of school. After going through such discrimination the girl always find it difficult to come back to school, that is an indirect denial of access to education. Wicked cultural practices and religious beliefs makes it normal if the girl child is violated and no man have ever stood up to oppose it, where are we men?
Physical mutilation and piercing of their body parts is enforced on the poor innocent girls as they will be helplessly following cultural practices. Look at what happened to the Chibok girls of Nigeria all in the name of religion or might I say terrorism. An open display of abuse that have been left to vanish just like a small puff of smoke, men let us have a merciful heart in our deeds.
Due to many early childhood challenges the girl child is devalued to the extent that she is prone to be raped, trafficked mainly for exploitation and suffer gender based violence even later in her adult life. Politicians are the most of those that constitute governments in most countries ,rallying up people by making up empty promises just to get into power. Availability of water and sanitation is taken lightly by these politicians yet it is the females who suffers the most when such resources are not easily accessible. Imagine in most rural areas whether in under developed or developing countries scarcity of clean water means that they have to walk for long distances to get the precious liquid. If the United Nations made it a declaration to make condoms free why not sanitary pads, I hope this gets across to those hypocritics.
I once talked with a certain lady whom I always referred to as happily married only until she mentioned how she felt unfulfilled. Each time she came across her peers she felt belittled because she did not have the opportunity to complete her studies and pursue her dreams due to economical constraints, a pity side of the coin it was.
I dare every responsible person especially men to empower your daughters and the girl child at large. Do not just teach them to cook, do nails or sew instead show them to how the hammer works, how those cables are connected and to say out their mind without fear or favour. Empower them first and prove to them that you are men enough.
[C] 2019 Zainab Suleiman
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