THE POWER OF THE ADOLESCENT GIRL: THE GIRL CHILD by Uwisike Blessing
As the world once again marks the International Girl Child day, we are reminded of the vital role that the female figure plays in the society. Today, attention is once again drawn to the plight and unfortunate condition of the millions of marginalized girls in the world; marginalized by culture, tradition, religion, class and egoistic perception by the patriarchs in the society they find themselves in. While it is worth celebrating that thousands of girls have found their identity and voices in a culture that once stifled their freedom of expression, millions of other girls are still held bound by this same limitations, hence the need to reiterate the power of the adolescent girl.
The need to empower the Girl Child cannot be reiterated enough. But not just the girl child now, older members of the society need to be sensitized on the need to protect the girl child and her rights, she must no longer be excluded from major functions and positions. She must no longer be discriminated against. She should be invested in, and benefit from targeted programs which focuses on meeting their needs. She must not be forced into child marriage anymore and perpetrators of such crime must be brought to book. She must not be forcefully impregnated. Female genital mutilation must be completely banned.
In line with the SDG4 aim to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all”, the girl child needs to be given priority in education. Both private and government agencies need to be more deliberate about empowering the female adolescent, and ensuring that she gets the equal right to education like her male counterparts which she so deserve. It is worth noting that if every girl child is duly educated, there would be no illiteracy in the world, and this will spur on development in every aspect of the society like never before.