Clattering plates, pacing around… loud laughter… drink and every traditional meal…the ceremony had started. It was my time. a man had come to ask for my hand in marriage, even if all I wanted was more education. my father had always spoken about this day, he said it the day that makes a woman; but what kind of woman was he about o make out of a 13 year old girl being betrothed to a 60 year old man.
TALK IS CHEAP
In recent times, there seem to be lots of advocacy, seminars and conferences on the Girl Child and everyone seem to have woken up to the fact that there is hope in giving power to the Girl Child. To add to this, the advocacy has taken a step ahead to recognizing the need to empower the male child alongside their female counterpart and this is so because every community consists of both male and female. Therefore; in order to effect a change, the whole community, constituted of both gender must be empowered with core values and the essence of equal power and right.
Despite this however, there seem to be an unresolving anger as this issue of Girl Child discrimination seem to make little or no difference despite the effort being put into creating an equal atmosphere, regardless of the gender. The answer lies within so much talk but little action. It lies within people being more interested in talking rather than teaching.
It is time to take a step further, it is time to do more, it is time to go beyond the regular speeches and cliches, it is time to step out of the box and view things with greater insights. It is time to understand that education does not lie in the four corners of school, it is time to realise that teaching involves more than just the words and it is time to admit that these girls need more than just words. They need to be given OPPORTUNITIES. It is not enough to preach to them about what they can achieve or explain to them how standard their value is, they need to be a part of what they learn. If you tell a girl she can be a leader, give her an OPPORTUNITY to lead. If you tell a girl she needs to go to school, give her a reason to value education. If you tell a girl she is not restricted by her gender, provide an OPPORTUNITY for her to explore. It is important Africa understands building a child especially a Girl Child. It sjust like the sacred art of taking a baby through its first step; you guide till he believes in himself to take the steps alone.
Every child has a destination and Empowerment represents their first step while OPPORTUNITY represents their giant leap. Therefore, neither empowerment nor opportunity is the end, they are thresholds to bigger beginnings. Lecture a girl child through Empowerment, Lead her through creating OPPORTUNITIES and Let her explore through personal developments. Life does not spoon-feed leaders, it provides them with the necessary items and we should do same. It is time to stop breeding possible leaders, it is time to build ACTUAL leaders.
Build a Girl Child, Build Limitless Africa.