International Day of the Girl 2012 by Pearl Osamudiame
Congratulations on the first ever celebrated #dayofthegirl . It is an event worth celebrating the world over because it is significant progress in the recognition of the challenges of growing up female.
Landmarks like this, give hope for the dream of Gender Equality
The girl child deserves special attention if we truly wish to bridge the gap between the sexes and see more women in significant leadership positions.
We need to socialize our girls to value themselves as significant actors in the political and socio economic spheres of their communities rather than judge their self worth by their capabilities in the home front cooking and caring for children.
We cannot achieve sustainable development if more than half of our human resources are under utilized. Women must look beyond the home and play more significant roles in society.
This can only be possible if the girl of today is focused on and specially groomed to ascend above negative social cultural restrictions and dysfunctional socialization which undervalues her and relegates her to the position of ‘second class citizen’.
No more would we hear of the success of a woman determined by her title of ‘Mrs.’ or how many sons she has borne. Expect more from them and they would expect more from themselves as well.
The change is now and can only be effected by collective effort from all of us.
– How many of us have prevented our daughters from attending extracurricular activities or even school because they need to tend for their younger ones or cook the food?
– How many of us have withdrawn our daughters from school because we think it’s a useless expenditure and waste of useful time?
– How many of us have withdrawn our daughters from school because our financial resources can cater for only one child so the son should go to school even if he is younger than the girl
– How many of us have complained that our daughters are not doing as well as our sons in school without taking into cognizance the fact that she does ‘one million’ chores before going to school and sleeps at 11pm after doing the same chores and hardly has time to rest because she is up at 5am to continue with the household chores?
– How many of us have regretted having female children because of the fear of unwanted pregnancy when we have failed in our responsibility of catering to their sexual and reproductive health rights and needs by giving them true information to enable them make informed choices
– How many of us have said ‘don’t bother you are just a woman’ without giving that girl a chance to excel at math’s and science subjects free of the fear and stereotype that women cannot do well in the sciences?
– How many of us have tried to belittle women who have worked hard to achieve respectable positions by attributing their success to “bottom power”
– Most IMPORTANTLY, how many of us have witnessed these injustices and kept mute?
The list is endless, the best time to plant a tree was 100 years ago but the next best time is now. STOP these discriminatory practices against the girl child and recognize the fact that WE are DIFFERENT but EQUAL.