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Educate the girl Child. They are our future Leaders

Having been able to go to school and finally get a degree and a post graduate degree for me is a dream come true. I was fortunate enough to have parents who valued education and it was the best gift that they gave me in this life. Many people take many things for granted including education. For most girls in rural areas going to school is luxury.

Many girls are brought from the village by people who claim that they are going to take them to school in the city and they end up using them for different jobs like prostitution and being maids. Harriet aged 12 now and Lucy aged 14 now were brought from their villages by a certain man who was close to their parents. This man who had apparently was seen as successful by many villagers, was able to convince many parents in his village that he was taking their children back to school. This man owned a stove making business in the heart of Kampala. What he would do was to actually bring children from the village, make them all sleep in one room and use them to make for him charcoal stoves. As this was not tiring for these young children, the girls were used for prostitution at night.

Halima now 19 with 4 children wishes she had been an opportunity to go to school like her brothers. At the age of 13 her father married her off to a 40 year old man and she made the fourth wife. She gave birth to her first child at the age of 14. She claims that the girls in her family were all married off between the ages of 13 and 14. According to her father girls were assets and he never bothered to educate them because he knew he would marry them off.

The barriers to girls’ education include mainly culture, ignorance, economic situation and lack of proper infrastructure in the rural areas.

Culture in many of rural areas is still very strong and this has contributed a lot to the lack of education of our girls. According to many cultures girls are not supposed to go to school simply because they are considered to be wives and mothers one day.

In addition many parents are ignorant especially those in remote villages. Most of them give their children to business people in towns who claim that they are going to educate their daughters. They later on find out that their children are being used for various jobs within the towns. In most cases the girls return back home with children or when they are HIV positive.

Other parents claim that they cannot educate the girls because they do not have the means to do so. And even if they do, they would first educate the boys because many believe that however much you educate the girl child she will disappoint you and get pregnant before you know it. Other parents prefer to give away the girl child as a worker at a tender age so that they can look after the parent eventually.

Many other parents blame the lack of education of their girls on the lack of schools within their localities. They claim that even if the government has put in place Universal primary education the schools are so far away from where they live and so they cannot risk sending their children to school. This is because in many cases children have been kidnapped and taken for sacrifice on their way to and from school.

Parents from ethnic minority groups also claim that their children do not follow the syllabus because of their way of life and end up dropping out of school.

WE should consider ourselves part of the solution, because every one of us has the power to ensure that girls are in various communities are gives the chance to go to school. Many times we blame culture but it is high time we stood up against culture and encouraged parents in these remote communities to embrace education for girls. Now that the government has provided universal primary education many of the parents in remote areas should be encouraged to educate their children.

There is need for communities to more aware of the situation in towns so that their children are not brought to suffer in towns. Parents should also be encouraged to be more involved in educating their daughters.

We should also advocate for our government to develop inclusive and intercultural education provision and curricula, which ensure that all groups have an understanding of the multicultural society and that there are shared and common values in the public domain which evolve through democratic consultation.

“Together we can ensure girls get not just education but quality education.”

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Comments

Taha Mirani's picture

Thumbs up

Brilliant post, dear Anita. Keep writing.

Power to your pen.

Love

Taha Mirani

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Thanks Taha

For sure i agree with you, the power is in the pen. Or now days in the keypad. Stay blessed my dear.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Klaudia Mexico's picture

the right formula

You´ve just describe the the right formula “Together we can ensure girls get not just education but quality education.”
We've to keep rising our voices, so more girls will have the chances we have and change their misery into better quality of life,
Best!!!
Klaudia

Klaudia González

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Thanks Klaudia

Hi Klaudia,
We indeed have to shout more so that we are heard. Thanks for the support. Stay blessed my dear sister.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

jacollura's picture

Thank you, Anita!

Yes, we are all a part of the solution.

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Thanks Jacollura

Thanks for the support and encouragement. Have a blessed day.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

ikirimat's picture

Anita, the issue of quality

Anita, the issue of quality education for girls you have raised is a very pertinent one that needs to be addressed. Up until today, I am not sure if the main reason why parents don't educate children in Uganda is because they can't afford to send their children to school. The sex preference to send boys to school at the expense of girls is a disturbing issue. So, again archaic cultures still prevail. Why should parents send their daughters to the city as house helps, sex workers? They want to exploit the girls in return for money.

I do acknowledge that we still have weak policy implementation mechanisms in place. I think this is an opportunity for you to raise your voice in your community to help communities see/appreciate why they should consider the education of their daughters a priority. Take the universal primary education as an opportunity. (something is better than nothing). May be you can be a role model.

I will be glad to hear your voice on this.

Regards

Grace Ikirimat

"It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success."


Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Thank you

For sure we need to ensure that these cultures are done away with because they hinder the growth of the girl child in many ways. In very remote villages girls are not given a chance. But we are trying hard to educate these communities that girls are not just wives to be but also can be very influential and therefore they need to be given a chance to go to school and change the world. I will keep posting more stories. Thanks you for your support and encouragement.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

awinkie's picture

Amazing!

This is an excellent post! You really draw on the issues facing girls in your country. You make it personable so people are really struck by what is occurring. I agree that we are all part of the solution! What are some ways you think that awareness and importance of education could be increased?

Anita Muhanguzi's picture

Thanks Awinkie

Thanks for the encouragement my dear sister. We need for one to engage the different communities that we serve so that both men and women can be part of the solution. The solutions should come from the community members. BY doing this we shall be able to increase awareness and the importance of education of the girl child.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
a.kiddu@gmail.com
cfmlegal@gmail.com
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Lea's picture

Great essay!

Dear Anita,

Your essay really resonated in me and showed me how vital it is to take a stand against traditions that are impeding girls' access to an education.
Your sentence " Many people take many things for granted including education" is so true; for those of us who are fortunate enough to be in societies where education is mandatory, we sometimes do take for granted this precious gift. As a teacher, it pains me to observe students who don't care about their education and feel that it's a waste of time. I wish they could see how lucky they are and realize that not everyone is given that privilege.
It's very sad indeed that girls in Uganda are not valued and are not encouraged to get an education. Sadly, this trend is all too common in many countries; Once they reach their teens, some girls are married off to much older men and are expected to bare children. Worse, they are forced into prostitution.
I agree with you it takes a community to speak out against traditional barriers and to demand that girls have a right to an education. Moreover, there needs to be, as you said, a greater awareness and understanding of the various multicultural groups in Uganda which should be presented in the schools' curricula.
Thank you for sharing with us and for informing us about the situation for girls' in Uganda.

kimmlarson's picture

YES!

Anita,

Your journal is so powerful. Yes, people do take education for granted. It is not a luxury. Yet for some of us, including women, they have no idea how fortunate they are to receive one. On a personal note, I have been that woman who has taken it for granted. Reading your journal not only educated me about the barriers many women in your country face, but provided space for me to reflect on the power of my own education. Thus reinforcing my passion to help end the atrocities that continue to occur to our fellow sisters. For this, I thank you.

You've listed the many reasons why women have barriers to education, enlightening the reader that it's not simply one problem within the system but many. When we begin to break down the systematic barriers, overcoming the problem can feel more achievable. Also, it's a wonderful place to start from, stopping the problem where it begins at the root cause. Changing cultural values may be the hardest, but I LOVE that you challenge it face on.

I applaud you for fighting and raising your voice. You're a role model, a leader and an inspiration. It can be so difficult to stand up against the cultural values in our communities. But you're standing by what you believe in and creating movement to make a change. YES! It gives me inspiration that I can do the same in my own country, as well as fight in this cause. For this, I thank you again.

And you're so right on. WE, all of us, have the power to make the change. It's not just woman, but also men and everyone around the world. Only together, as a community, can we make that change.

Keep writing more journals and fighting your cause! Your voice has a ripple effect around the world, Anita!
Kim

Nsimirenadine's picture

merci pour votre connaissance

salut et merci pour votre connaissance sur woldpulse

nadine

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