by Sharimam Kwewum
Statistics today show that 130 million girls around the world are denied education and 53 million of them are from Africa. i.e. almost half of those girls are on our continent.
Every individual (including girls who are born into the society), is entitled to basic human rights such as the right to education, liberty, and security but most times the girl-child is refused opportunities because society believes that our place is in the kitchen and bedroom. I implore our leaders and society at large, to measure the girl-child on being the best version of herself. For human potential in Africa to yield fruits, we need to include the girls who are being left out.
In some parts of Africa, the-girl child is not free to go to school because she might be captured by rebels like the Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab in places like Nigeria, Kenya, and Liberia. These rebels keep on terrorizing young girls because our government is failing to protect us. Every state has a duty to protect its citizens, why has Africa failed in its duty?
One of the universal human rights is that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude, but we have girls held hostage in parts of Africa because our people believe that the girl-child is synonymous to a slave child. Thousands of young girls are held captive and I am sure our leaders understand that this violence denies the girl child the right to move forward. Day after day, we hear stories of girls being raped by fathers, brothers, and even teachers. In 2017 alone, 10 young girls in South Africa were raped and murdered by their boyfriends. This is saddening because the girl-child is vulnerable, and our states are failing to protect us. A young girl like me cannot walk the streets with unafraid because of the ungoverned spaces of terror in our societies.
In my opinion, if Africa wants to ensure that the agendas set for 2063 are a reality, then Africa should work with the girl-child! There are laws in place to involve the girl-child, but the problem is that they are not being enforced. There is an idea that can go a long way and that idea is LAW ENFORCEMENT!! When the law is enforced, the girl-child can be protected and given the opportunity to have a future. When the law is enforced, I am treated equally to the opposite gender. When the law is enforced there is a place for me in the society to explore my potential. The-girl child yearns to be a part of this revolution and involving her would help us achieve our goals and agendas as a continent faster.
I am an African girl and I want to feel secure. I don’t want to be given a trophy for being female, I just want to be able to enjoy my basic human rights.