Letter to the unborn girl child
For the unborn girl child,
I pray you are inspired, like I am, by women who have risen, like the phoenix, from ashes, from the dirt, from the fear. Take and learn from their strength and courage. Hold on to it, it is important you have and cherish role models that are brave and determined women making the world go round.
I hope you’re going to school is a given; uncontested and compulsory. I hope you finish school and that your education remains unmolested; that strangers, teachers, brothers and fathers let you receive that education until the end.
It is your right beloved.
I hope that you are taught to pursue your dreams; that you can create your dreams, that society will not impose on you a role that you do not wish or care for, that only you dictate your destiny. May your independent thought be encouraged. May you be allowed to speak your mind.
I hope that you never have to sell your body for rent or food. I hope you never have to engage in survival sex. I hope your first sexual experience is uncoerced- financially, physically and emotionally.
I hope you have the power to say no and can walk away when a man insists not to use a condom.
I pray you practice safe sex and have access to sexual and reproductive health care. I hope you receive such care without shame, without stigma, without so much as a stare, a loud whisper or an eyebrow lift that makes you feel less than human.
It is your right beloved.
I pray that your body remains free of scars and that you never have to suffer abuse. I pray that gender based violence is a crime and that it is treated as such; that you never have to suffer at the hands of a policeman, a judge or any person of authority that does not understand. I pray you do not have to endure repeat victimisation by the state and its agents.
You have rights. May you be allowed to claim and assert them.
By the time you read this, I imagine a society where gender, race, class and sexual orientation mean nothing. That there is no need for these labels and that people relate above them, beyond them.
You have layers, you are many things, and may you be the only who decides what, and when and where.
I pray that the system: social, judicial and health has evolved to care about you, protect you and lets you live a life of dignity and respect, free of fear, abuse and oppression.
The world is deeply fractured and messy right now but there are countless people at work, fighting for you. The fight is on. It is energy, determination and commitment. It is hoping that things can change, it is acting on the belief that they will. They, and I, will not stop fighting for gender equality and justice so that you my beloved girl-child can live the life you choose, with all your rights realised, with your dignity intact, with the respect you deserve.
You see, as part of this fight, I have applied to become a Voices of Our Future Correspondent (VOFC) on World Pulse. I want to learn how to use words, my love for you, to share the stories, the beauty of solutions, of survivorship, of going beyond.
Victory needs collective action. It needs mobilisation. Applying to become a VOFC is a leap in that direction, your direction. It is an intricate part of the fight. It is using the power of words, of pain, of strength, of bravery, to connect, to trigger, to sustain and to empower.
It is stoking the consciousness. It is reporting about the battles won, the ground gained. It is sharing the victories so that one day, you may live, and not just survive.
Beloved, there is so much I want for you, but this is a start of my vision unwrapped.
The fight is on.