Today is the International Day of the Girl Child and I will be on Metro 97.7 FM http://www.metro977.fm preaching the Glorious Gospel According to Child’s Rights/Protection and Family Strengthening, focusing on advocacy for the respect of rights of the girl child and I cordially invite you to join us.
The International Day of the Girl Child which was declared in December 2011 by the United Nations to call attention to the many issues that the girl child is faced with all over the world. It was marked for the first time on October 11, 2012.
According to UNWOWEN website (www.unwomen.org), ‘the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, on 11 October, “Girls’ Progress = Goals’ Progress: A Global Girl Data Movement”’ UNWOMEN further shed light on the theme as follows, ‘it is a call for action for increased investment in collecting and analyzing girl-focused, girl-relevant and sex-disaggregated data. One year into the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, improving data on girls and addressing the issues that are holding them back is critical for fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.’
The international Non-Governmental Organization, Plan International, which was in the forefront of campaigning for the declaration of the day by the United Nation and which is the lead campaigner concerning the day and what it represents for the girl child is today leading ‘more than 250 #GirlsTakeover events across the globe they will be demonstrating the strength, power and ability of girls to change the world. The focus of the campaign is to get ‘girls around the world step into the shoes of presidents, mayors, business leaders and more for on 11 October to demand justice and equality.’ The details of how to participate in the events are stated on their website, http://www.plan-international.org.
One major issue that has come to the fore today is the issue of ‘child marriage.’ According to statistics, it has been found that ‘one in three girls in developing countries (except China) get married before they turn 18.’ This translates to the fact that 15(fifteen) million children may be ‘married’ out before they are 18 years and this act truncates their childhood, education, health and gets them to begin to have children when they are themselves children and are not prepared for same both psychologically and physiologically. It is found that 2(two) million children give birth under 18 and 120(one hundred and twenty) million children have experienced sexual violence. According to Plan International, ‘it’s estimated around 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lives.’
Today provides us another golden opportunity to call attention gender issues in our nation and continent today. Gender is today a touchy issue for young people particularly in Africa. The reason is that we live a society that is male dominated and many still nurse the backward notion that the girl child is inferior to the boy child.
This unfounded belief of the superiority of one gender over the other or inferiority of one gender to the other has passed from one generation to the other. It is sad that this belief is finding its way in the midst of today’s children and young people.
By virtue of what the society teaches, many young people believe today that they are superior just by the fact that they are boys. On the other hand many believe that they are inferior merely by the fact that they are girls.
Having worked with children and young people in the last 18(eighteen) years, we see this belief affecting the relationship which exists between the male and female genders.
It is sad that despite many achievement of the female gender, the majority of the society still do not believe that the girl child is a complete child.
My focus today is to help children; young people and their caregivers understand and accept that God created us MALE and FEMALE in HIS IMAGE for a reason. He did not make a mistake.
I want to help children and young people to understand and accept that gender is a gift from God and an expression of His diversity and difference in manifestation. Gender places no limit on any child or young people. Therefore, gender has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. It has all to do with the role, which God has assigned to each gender and must be understood and accepted that way.
Gender is simply defined as ‘the state of being male or female.’ This is simple and straight to the point. Yet it is an instruction. It does not talk about one gender being the PLUS and the other being MINUS.
It is simply a STATE OF BEING, it is a STATE OF LIFE…The rest is in your mind. The rest is in how you see yourself whether as PLUS or MINUS.
God did not give one gender dominion over the other. MALE and FEMALE are equal before God according to our individual assignment.
Do have an INSPIRED day, Thinking the CHILD, Thinking TODAY, Thinking the FUTURE.
C) 2016 by Taiwo ‘ODINAKACHUWU’ AKINLAMI…All Rights Reserved
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