Turning My Vision Into Reality
Today, I stand to speak for myself, thanks to World pulse. Now I am educated and have the hope of speaking and intervening for the girl-child who doesn’t have the chance or hope. My life vision is to see the girl-child having access to quality education and other basic rights in the nearest future. Championing this cause has always been what I wanted to do even at a very young age but then I do not know how to go about it except talking to and advising young girls I had contact with who were denied quality education that they can still make something out of their lives.
As stated by Dr. J. E. Kwegyir, a visionary Ghanian educator (1875 – 1927), “The surest way to keep people down is to educate the men and neglect the women. If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a family”
It has been confirmed that statistics of students dropping out of school in Nigeria is higher in 2010. Outside Nigeria, according to a London based Minority Rights Group International (MRG), about 50 to 70% of the world’s 101 million children out of school are from minorities or indigenous peoples. In a report titled “the state of the world’s minorities and indigenous peoples 2009”, it was stated that, in developing countries such as India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Pakistan which have the largest numbers of school dropouts, the disparity is maximum as minority and indigenous populations enjoy far less access to schooling than the majority groups. This and many more facts point to the facts that even though the government has a lot of role to play in this regard by making sure that access to basic and quality education should be one of their priorities, several individuals can also make a change. When we have several drops of water, it can turn into an ocean.
In Adamawa state for example, (northern part of Nigeria), child marriage is still very rampant. A lot of young girls do not go to school or had to stop their education when they are given out in marriage at a tender age not considering the fact that they are young and their reproductive organs are not matured enough for them to be a mother. In May 2010, BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights in collaboration with Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, development and peace organized a leadership training to equip young girls between the ages of 13-18 with leadership skills that would allow them to be able to advocate for their rights and were encourage to share what they’ve learnt with their friends. The participants were interviewed three months after the program and one of them said:
“My friend is very young but her parents want her married. She has been taught it is the culture, and told that she must obey her parents though she is unhappy about it, there is no where to run to, even her education is at stake because she doesn’t know what to expect after marriage, however, I encouraged her not to give up on her studies”-Maimuna Hassan http://baobabwomen.blogspot.com/
Government, non governmental sector, communities and individuals like me must strive to make commitments towards making gender equality a reality not only in education but having full and equal access to other rights
World pulse has shown to be a great platform for change. It has provided a problem solving avenue where I can raise my voice on burning issues affecting women and the girl-child, an avenue where I can collaborate with like minded people and be engaged to make a change. I want to be one of the voices of our correspondent because world pulse has really opened my eyes to how I can make a difference in the world and making use of web 2.0 to achieve lot of goals, with the little Information Technology (IT) knowledge I possess and my flair for writing which I’m improving on. With world pulse, I can create my own women’s support group struggling for the same cause. Just like BAOBAB’s slogan, You can’t change the past, but you can try to change the future.