Because I am a Girl: Part 2

It is finally here. Please don’t damage your brain cells with a myriad of thoughts, trying to figure out what it is. Like seriously. I’m just excited like most activists who have a passion for creating a world where girls can live free of violence, marginalization and achieve their full potential.

In the developing world, millions of girls are deprived of their basic human rights, and why you ask? Well it is simply because they are girls. In a differing situation, there are some societies that are mainly headed by women and men are not even allowed to set their eyes on the village, not literally per say; sort of matriarchal societies.

A good example of this is ‘Umoja’ village, in Kenya, which is literally my country’s only village where men are forbidden to reside. It took me a while to believe that it really exists but it actually does. Let me say it acts as a safe haven for women and girls who want to get away from abuse or violence. As I previously mentioned, men are forbidden to live in the village but are allowed to visit; however there is a catch, they must behave and abide by the women’s rule.

As women, many of us desire to have such safe havens all over the world, somewhere we can be at peace; no need to sleep with a cordless phone under our pillow or any sharp tool for protection during the night. A place where as women and girls,  we don’t face discrimination and barriers to our survival and development.

When you  rush to the office or carry out your daily errands, 41,000 girls under 18 are getting married to some gukaa, all because their fathers said they cannot educate girls, and would rather marry them off to get cattle in return.

All this is happening yet we are aware that girls themselves are part of the solution and once empowered they can lift themselves and everyone around them out of poverty. They are a powerhouse of talent, creativity and potential. I really can’t figure out why we lag behind at embracing the efforts of young girls and women, it beats me hard! Everyday should be a girl’s day: to appreciate herself and think of a great way to conquer barriers, make it big for the better of all of us.

Njeri Wairimu and her niece
 Njeri Wairimu and her niece

International Day of the Girl Child (October 11) is fast approaching and it is meant to sort of evaluate the strides made in helping girls access their basic human right; what has been done, what is missing and eventually how to go about doing more in the later years. This year marks a critical moment in history where 193 world leaders have agreed to a new set of #GlobalGoals that will act as a navigator to a more sustainable world for all of us. Goal 5 of these goals is to eradicate gender equality and I believe if we stand together, men and women, all is possible

So if you consider all of us to be equal, then join in celebrating the power and potential of girls everywhere. This is an opportunity to step up collective action to break the cycle of violence and inequality against girls and women.
Ree

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