Opinion

There is need to invest in girl child education

By: Ngor Khot Garang

The victory of Elizabeth Anyieth Mayen from Bor College Secondary School who beat all the 28,086 students who sat for the 2019 national examinations is a wakeup call for those who still take girls as mere resources.

Girls are just like boys and what they need is a safe environment, an environment within which they can experiment, and be able to commit mistakes and learn from them.

They need an environment where they can tinker with new ideas not a male chauvinistic society where they would be forced to drop out of school to get married.

That one will never work and that society would never progress.  The success of every country comes from the knowledge that girls are just as smart as boys and therefore it would not make sense to send the boys to school and leave the girls to wait in line for marriage.

This is a medieval practice and natural justice would never condone that.  We need a balanced world where both males and females would have mutual respect for one another.

The mistreatment of women by men starts when a man is the breadwinner in the family but when both of them had a shared responsibility, cases of maltreatment would be no more.

The traditional cultures that make one sex superior over the other are archaic and do not fit in our contemporary world anymore. The beating of women and forced marriage must be annihilated if we desire a better world. We were born the same and we all have our weaknesses and strengths at the same time.

We fail and succeed depending on the environment we find ourselves in.  If the government put it into law to arrest the culprits who force young girls into premature marriages it will not take long before we understand that both men and women are equally the same.

The general public has to be greatly aware of the importance of girl child education. I cannot isolate them all here but we all know that girls are not just mothers, they are educators,  leaders, doctors, lawyers just to mention a few.

Respect the girl child as people of value. Give them the opportunity, the necessary support and an enabling environment to develop their full potentials and they shall prove their real worth for their best interests for the benefit of their families and the country at large.

Early marriage must be abolished and perpetrators must be brought to book.  It is harmful to the growth and development of the general well-being of girls.  It is also an abortion of future aspirations and great dreams.

There are girls who are now young mothers who had great dreams of becoming doctors, pilots, lawyers and many more but those dreams died from the day they were told that it was time for them to be married.

Some of them could have changed the world if they were not forced to leave school to be mothers. The practice becomes an obstacle to every girl desiring to shape her destiny.

Last year I heard a sad story about a girl who was asked by her parents to choose whether to accept an old man who wanted to marry her, or she leave the family forever.

She was in high school by then and also a bright student.  When she thinks about the condition, she gave in because she did not want to invite curses to herself as it is still the norm today.

That young girl is now a woman and all the plans she had about the future now lies far distance from her. She is now living a life of regret and always in tears.

Is this the kind of life we want our girls to live? If such practices still exist, the government would be held accountable if they fail to trap men who gladly ravish and exploit young girls.  They must be subjected to psychiatric examination and decisively punished because this is inhuman and truncate the destiny of young girls.

No one, not even the parents has the right to stop their child from going to school just to suit their own interest.  Girls are bright and the way must be opened for them to pass undisturbed. Marriage is not bad but there is time for it.

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