LAST week yours truly visited his grandparents who live in Nkayi and discovered that some families are still stuck in the past as they still believe that the male child is the asset while the girl child is a liability.
Moreover, some of the families still perpetuate retrogressive beliefs that the rights of the girl child must not be prioritised as she will be married off.
Regrettably this mindset still prevails in some sections of rural areas and relegates the girl child to a second-class citizen. However, this thinking seems to have shifted to the positive in the urban set-up.
The rural girl child suffers far more profoundly than her urban counterpart because of the imbalance in the flow of information and intrinsic ideologies. Her problems are further compounded by the inherent poverty and lack of facilities in the rural background.
In this kind of scenario the rural girl child undergoes a very harsh life from the very beginning of her life. She rarely receives proper healthcare since the hospitals are remotely located. While to her urban counter part such facilities are a stonea��s throw. The long distance she endures to and from school exposes her to abuses such as sexual abuse and sadly such cases go unreported.
Furthermore, an adolescent girl is married off without her consent and becomes pregnant long before her body is ready. Apparently she has to endure the ups and downs of marriage at a tender age. This is a glimpse of the gloomy situation that a rural girl child faces.
The mindset of looking at the girl child as a lesser being or a property needs to change. All the discrimination and bias must be discarded. Moreover some parents have to learn to treat their children with fairness.
If we change our viewpoint and look at the other side then we can see the immense benefits and contributions that a girl child could offer to the society. An empowered girl child becomes an asset like her male counterpart. By the same token this creates a positive cycle which is beneficial to the individual, the family, the society and the nation at large.
We should also acknowledge the reality that girls cannot advance without the advancement of women and no improvement in womena��s lives will be sustained unless the girl child is empowered educationally, economically and offered equal opportunities to achieve their potential. Empowerment of women and girls are mutually inclusive and has the greatest overall positive effect on the health and well-being of a society.
Hardy from Zvishavane 0715849110: a�?I like your articles keep up the good work.a�?
Nyasha from Bulawayo 0713682599: a�?I think some parents need to be educated on abuse. This will help in reducing negative statements to their children.a�?
Benkosi from Insuza 0737344445: a�?These days young people are exposed to a lot of information such as pornography and that fuels them to be exposed to sexual abuse.a�?
Nhlanhla from Bulawayo: a�?I think this needs a holistic approach, parents and children need to be educated on all forms of abuse.a�?
Anonymous from Harare: Abuse is cancerous and the perpetrators should be dealt with severely so as to get rid of it.a�?
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