• July 12th, 2020

Opinion - Creating a difference in the way society treats the girl child

Sandra Nakashole

Article 10 of the Namibian constitution states that all people are equal regardless of their sex, race , social or economic status. But yet girls still get discriminated against. We speak of the 21st century where everyone has the freedom of movement but most girls can’t even walk on the streets because of fear of getting robbed and raped, as rape cases are highly increasing everyday in our country, some known and some unknown especially in rural areas. What happened to article 8 of the Namibian constitution  that states that the dignity of every human being must be respected.

The constitution is being put aside,  which is basically why girls should strive to stand put as individuals  in society. Some girls don’t even know their rights and I believe that every girl child has the right to say NO , this is why most girls suffer a lot when they grow up because they lack the confidence and enthusiasm which affects them dearly because they start lacking the knowledge to stand up and look for job opportunities which is why 19.36% of our unemployment sector is made up of women 

Article 21 of the Namibian constitution states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought , conscience and belief but some beliefs affect the girl child and her future as this puts her down and prevents her from expressing herself; she even begins to develop the fear of presenting  her ideas because she believes that she will be unable to live her dream, not because she is too scared , but because they are kept away from the opportunities  due to the beliefs and rules that are enforced on them in terms of culture and religion . The main point is not to destroy culture and religion but it’s to ensure that girls free their voices and find that confidence within themselves; they should enhance the belief that careers have no gender and if a man can do it, so can a woman .

Everyone wants a strong and responsible girl, who has good values and can do household chores with no complaints until she actually stands up , flexes  her muscles, projects her voice – suddenly she is too much and she has forgotten her place.  Men find women as threatening factors due to the fears that woman might do better than them which in their own words is disrespect.

In schools, girls are given opportunities to speak in places such as the classroom but they don’t grab those opportunities due to the circumstances  that they might face at home . That’s why we would find that boy children are more active and debative than girl children because of the difference in the upbringing; our girls are brought up in societies where men have the say in everything and women are bound to listen to the rules being implemented. Most girls have the ability to speak out but they fear what their fathers would say about them. Girl children are most likely to be bullied in school as well as on social media platforms (cyber bullying)
Our society should change their mindset and reflect on how the future would be without women which actually starts with how girls are treated from a young age and the type of environment they where raised in – some girls are experiencing a lot in the period of childhood which makes them face grief, trauma and depression. 

About 85% of Namibian families alive today believe that the girl child is the image to their family name which means that if a girl goes through any traumatic situations in her life such as rape, abuse and bullying she cannot raise her voice because she is threatened to remain silent because she has to keep her family’s reputation, and her silence leads to low self esteem which will normally increase suicidal thoughts.
Girls should be inspired and they should gain support in raising their voices against what is wrong; they should be educated more on their rights , more programmes should be set up to help girls to develop a strong character in terms of being  able to express themselves freely so that in future they can occupy any post they want in their workplaces. This needs to be groomed in them from a young age because a little girl with a dream is a woman with a vision . Girls should embark on making a difference in society knowing that the power they have is seeing a better version of themselves to create a better world.
Let us renew our commitment and invest in the health , education and safety of a girl child.

Staff Reporter
2020-06-25 08:47:08 | 17 days ago

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