By Judyannet Muchiri.
In an ideal society this article wouldn’t be relevant, wouldn’t be written and the contents wouldn’t even be thought of. But the society as we know it is far from ideal, at least depending on who you ask. Whether the society will ever reach a point of rest which comes from all members living as equal members of a society is debatable. What is not debatable is the conditions that some members go through in the current society; specifically Girls.
The 21st century has seen tremendous improvement in many conditions in the society. More young people are actively involved in matters of state building, most of these young people are politically conscious and they are inquisitive, more women have also asserted their position in society and taken up active roles in different capacities. In general the society has seen a shift from the previous century in many sectors. While this calls for a pat in the shoulder, we are far from opening the champagne bottles. This very society that looks bright in many ways has and still continues to trample the efforts of the girl child. The biggest culprit here is the education of the girl child. The society continues to thwart any effort for the girl child to get an education in formal learning institutions.
Why is the society so much threatened by a girl with a bag full of books going to school?
From the girl child emanates the society. So it beats logic why this very society would readily not empower this same girl child who bears its source of life. The agents of archaic practices like FGM, Early Marriages and Child Brides know this fact; that when they let the girl off these yokes then change will happen and yet they do not want this change. Further, the magnitude of the resultant change shakes them to the core and this only leads them to tighten the grip even more.
The African Girl Child has it even worse. She, for example, can be abducted from school and have her life and her dream yanked from her in the blink of a night. Being African and being a girl at that presents you with many archaic practices and hurdles erected by those who fear change and a more equitable society. This paints a grim picture of these millions of girls who every morning wake up in different parts of Africa and most often have their lives in this day and every other after dictated by the society. This picture is as much a disadvantage as it is an opportunity.
The African Girl Child has the biggest of opportunity to rise. To shake off these yokes influenced by tradition, patriarchy and selfishness and to rise to the top of her abilities. The African Girl Child needs to be a rebel, to rebel against the society, to do those very things that the society says she can’t do. She needs to look around her and decide to own that very society, her own space, her community that she has given birth to and a community that can only be characterized by equal chances for every single member of that community regardless of variables like gender, class and status. She needs to know that the fact that she was born African and a girl in this century is not by chance. As such, the conditions the society presents her should as much as they make her angry propel her to the top of her abilities.
And this is the last thing the opponents of change want; an African Girl Child who knows who she is and what her abilities are.