Today marks the International Day of the Girl Child with the theme “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement.” Over the years this female gender has been cried for, supported, empowered and now she is running the world shoulder’s high. From child marriages, rape, slavery, domestic violence, female genital mutilation and other cultural vices that has diminished her worth, she now can boldly say NO. She knows her rights, she knows she can get support from every corner and dare you mess around with her hell becomes your new home. In policies been implemented she is everywhere to the recent Sustainable Development Goals: No.5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Advocacy on her has been beefed up and truth is she has been the most vulnerable but now tables are turning to the boy child.
Who is fighting for them? Where is their advocacy? Are we really achieving gender equality? As am writing this am chatting with my workmate and i alert him that there is need for boy child advocacy but he tells me that the boy child is strong, they don’t need all this happenings in their world and i’m like “excuse me?” Back to where i was….Yes the male gender needs someone to voice out their concerns too with this big local and international bodies. He is prone to rape, he has been dropping out of school at an alarming rate and look around you, who are the most uneducated in your area? In some cultures education has been robbed off so that he can look after cattle and practice pastoralism. In the fight against crime he has been at the forefront carrying firearms, been radicalized into gangs and look even at child military in countries like Liberia, DRC just to mention but a few where the boy child terrorizes his own nation.
Drugs and alcohol abuse has infected him and as we empower our girls, look at the boy to marry her tomorrow all addicted to substances. Then who shall we blame? At homes domestic violence has seen him run away into the streets and those who stay put become affected psychologically which hinders their inability when they grow up. In schools bullying has become the norm and we have witnessed death cases as a result of it. He has not been left out in child labor where poverty has modified him to early hustles and bustles to meet his family needs denying him of his childhood rights.
He is the most sensitive to deal with. He is the father and leader of tomorrow but who is there to let him know that he is indeed remembered? As we mark our calendars to this occassions i hope my son shall not ask me “mummy why is it it is women and girls we remember on calendars. When am i remembered?” How shall i respond?
Let us not neglect the boy child.