Balancing the conversation around empowering the girl child: The foundation for nation building

By Comrade Amb DCN Ogaga Darlington Ossai

According to UN Charter: The concept of gender equality has been established within the core guiding principles of the United Nations, and unequivocally reflects a commitment to the equality of men and women in all aspects of the human endeavour. More specifically, the Charter of the United Nations (Articles 8 and 101) stipulates that there shall be no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in every capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs.

Again, according to the BEIJING DECLARATION FOR ACTION in the section on “Women in power and decision-making”, presented at the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, states that the United Nations must take measures to ensure women’s equal access to and full participation in power structures and decision-making.

From  documents like these and more  on gender equality we see so much being said about ensuring level playing grounds for the girl child but let me ask you, apart from extreme areas such as Afghanistan where recently women were banned from schooling or participation in public life, are there restrictions in most nations prohibiting women from expressing their potentials?

The forgoing is my perspective on empowering the girl child.

The girl child is not as vulnerable as we are socialising them into thinking thry are. What the girl child becomes we program into them from the home. Right from birth you see the girl child wrapped in pink and the boy in blue. The girl child is taught to be soft and need protection from the brothers. I tell the girls I mentor, when next someone prays for you that you will marry a Senator, Governor or CEO ask them why can’t you be those things yourself.

Why can’t he pray that your husband will marry a female Governor, Lawyer and Engineer? We groom girls to think they need defending, hence thry grow vulnerable not knowing they can stand and defend themselves. We current have too many negative role models for the girl child today. As parents we must start teaching our girls from home today that they must rely on their BRAIN POWER than their BODY POWER.

I feel very offended most times when I see in musicals where the boy dresses properly and the girls which are theirvideo Biden would be half naked. Something is wrong with that depiction. Too many so-called female role models giving poor examples by calling nudity in public glear  “body modeling” or “body advocate.”

Do you really need to be naked to show that you are confident or that you love your body as it is?. When you tell them to dress well they call it ‘body shaming’. So you don’t know that you are the one shaming yourself by exposing your privates in public. Only a mad person walks naked without Shame.

The next thing you will hear them say “you can’t shame the shameless”.  Many parents of the girl are their problems. The height of parental failures I have seen recently is a mother wearing torn designer jeans and her daughters wearing same they will shamelessly share such trash in social media. How can you be smiling in such state? It’s a show of crass ignorance by such parent. It’s obvious you don’t know that children will multiply the errors you allow them practice.

Where we find ourselves today as a society is caused, mostly,  by negligent parenting. I once heard a mother tell her daughter that came to report that her husband was violent and beat her up at the slightest provocation, that beating is part of marriage. She actually asked the girl, do you know the kind of beating I took from your father….whaaaat!?!?! How can you justify an anomaly just because you were a victim?  Many years ago as a chapel pastor in a boarding school, one of my female students came crying to me that she was harassed by some female teachers who were calling her names. They called her loose because of the way she dresses.

This girl was used to wearing very tight outfits, even her hours wears in the hostel. You need to see her during the weekend’s where they are allowed to dress in casuals, when she puts on  sport wears,  it’s either too short or too tight. When I probed into it she opened up to me that her mum buys those things for her and her mum  usually get angry when she refuses to put them on. So who do now blame thst she is accustomed to it?For me, to empower the girl child is not to give her undue advantage in the name of equality advocacy. We should not take the advocacy to the gallery. How many women came out in the last elections in Nigeria? How many Women would have VOTED for a female president? Even United Nations that has a charter and one of the SDGs dedicated to women, how many women do they have in their high ranking committee? Until we see a female UN Secretary General emerge, it can still be seen as lip service.

The girl child should be made to know that like my sister’s in Delta State: Arimobi Miracle( who is a female civil engineer), Favour (The number road girl who recycles used tires for great furnishing), she can be an engineer/an advocate and compete with men in these fields. For me to empower the girl child is to give her the opportunity to express the innate gift and to express to the full her deepest potential.

To create a level playing ground for her and her male counterpart, Know this woman, no one will stand up and give you a seat on the table of men. You can see how vicious men fight themselves over a place on the table. If you want a place on the table, step up and fight for it. No one will give you power on the plater of gold, you must show your worth. You can’t keep emphasizing your ‘body power’ over your mind power and expect men to respect your gender.

You must first rise up and advocate for sanity amongst your gender. Let’s Let’s you talking to yourselves. Yiumare even more than the men in numbers, so instead of advocating for more appointments for our gender, why not rally yourselves together and vote one of your own? Why not lobby a legislature with your number mass? I say this at the risk of being misinterpreted, the advocacy for gender equality by the female gender questions their understanding of their self image and awareness. 

What gives you the impression that you are not equal and why would you fight to be equal with someone you are already equal with. God made them male and femal, equally with no superior or inferior abilities. The differences were created by our upbringing and process of socialization.Let balances our Advocacy.

Let’s advocate for both the boy child and the girl child. This is why I fault any advocacy that focuses solely on  the rights of the  girl child neglecting the boy child. You forget that a boy child that is poorly raised is a danger trap for a well raised girl child. Give your girl child all the training, that boy child you neglect today will be her husband tomorrow. Let’s be balance and raise both kids right.  I am never in support of any one-sided advocacy, either for the boy child or the girl child.

 Comrade Amb DCN Ogaga Darlington Ossai FCGE, is a Social Commentator, Human Rights Activist, Peace Advocate, Kids Teens Parenting Coach, Author#parentincoach #kidspremiumcoach #valuereorientationcoach #TheLEEDSTrainer #thevaluereorientationcoach #theconradeambassador #sdgs_vri #valuereorientationposts #thecomradeambassador

What do you think?


Written by Tom Chiahemen

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