Girls need basic life skills to repel brutality

By Simon J. Mone

The brutal manner of recent months which has seen young girls killed got us very scared.

Adolescent girls all over this world are facing various dimensions of violence. They have to endure challenges like gender-based violence among many other risks and vulnerabilities as they go about their day-to-day errands.

And communities have continued to give these problems, very little importance.  Yet these troubles many times affect the girls in many ways. It affects the health of the girls. It affects their studies. In many cases, girls find that their general well-being is seriously compromised.

The brutal manner of recent months which has seen young girls killed got us very scared. In fact, we are still smarting from the agony of our loved ones. The manner in which they are brutally murdered and later dumped in bushes in neighbourhoods. Many young girls especially in and around Entebbe municipality were forced to change their daily routines.

Most of them have had to forego activities on their to-do list. Others simply postponed any activities requiring late movements to the next day. Those that were attending evening classes have had to dodge and stay home. Working ladies rushed through their work in order to close early.

Any unfinished business would stop early so that they are home before it was too dark to see. This has been the events surrounding the lives of communities around Entebbe and other areas. What a complete change of lifestyle for many girls in the last couple of months! It was the best thing to do in the circumstance.

While all these events have been taking place, the causes of such deadly killings still remain in the speculations. So the answers that all of us Ugandans have been waiting to hear has not come. They will never come soon. A ridiculous one was provided when an honourable minister, attempted to explain why the girls were being killed. It left us unsatisfied, expecting and hoping that we have seen the last of such brutalities.

We wanted needed answers because young girls not only should they to feel protected, but must be protected. Girls require a safe place, where they are able to accomplish their daily responsibilities without being vulnerable to an unsafe and insecure society.

The society must refrain from causing grief to girls because of their gender or race and ethnicity, or cultural background, or religious belonging, or age, or because the spirits demand body parts to facilitate selfish people in achieving dodgy objectives. Practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) are continuing without ending.

The girls subjected to FGM are in many cases the ones often at high risk of early forced marriage. This in turn leads to early pregnancy and eventual drop-out of school. It seriously curtails the girls’ education and eventually, their ability to avoid poverty.

We should have started yesterday, to treat the female gender with respect and dignity. Guard and treasure them jealously. To do this, the female gender must be empowered with some basic life skills to enable them defend themselves against radical people.

They need the tact to be able to discern conmen and avoid trouble. And be able to put up resistance from bad people. Being physically weaker means they need the knowledge to avoid trouble. Providing girls with bellicose skills sounds like a wild thought but I still put it out there for you to contemplate.

Females in many countries acquire these physical skills for defence against radicals groups. But the bigger war that communities ought to fight is to deliberately start to cause a change in thinking of community members towards female gender.

The need to change the attitude and behaviour of violent people towards the female gender is urgent. Then we can achieve this milestone of eradicating brutality against the women.

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