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The Struggle of the girl child.

‘A woman has no tribe or religion until she marries’; this is the fate of many beautiful and differently able girls and women around you and I.
Aunty Regina was born to peasant farmers in a far off village in Cameroon many years back. Her parents who were unable to continue to pay her fees after primary 4 sent her to live with an uncle in town. She was to help take care of the house and this uncle was to continue to sponsor her education. The later part of the deal was never executed. Aunty Regina found herself sent to learn a trade and later send off to marriage. Today, the story is yet to change. One of the greatest barriers to education in my community is poverty. In theory, primary education is free in Cameroon but in reality, a lot of money has to be paid as Parent Teacher Associations (PTA) charge exorbitant sums in a bid to provide schools with infrastructure. The government creates schools without structures and these schools are built by the PTA. Girls who are considered the ‘less important sex’ end up being victims of illiteracy because of poverty.
The sending of girls to work as house servants in urban areas is yet another barrier to the education of the girl child. These girls take care of babies and household chores in wealthy families but many end up without even a trade with which to earn a living. 90% of these girls earn about 40-50 dollars (20000-25000FCFA) a month. Some of them suffer sexual harassment, rape and domestic violence in these homes.
Strange enough, some women are barriers to the education of other women. In the just mentioned case, the women who are supposed to encourage their house helps to get an education by sending them to school instead see this as training a rival. Some of the few educated women want to remain the envy of society and therefore are not ready to have other potential female intellectuals.
Aunty Regina is such a product and after 27 years of marriage and having sent all her kids to school, she is doing adult education. ‘Education is a must have for every woman no matter her age’ says aunty Regina.
The lack of access to education of girls and women accounts for the absence of females in important decision making positions like peace processes and development planning.
The most important solution to improving access to education of the girl child in my community is the strengthening of ‘njangi’ groups (meetings held on regular basis). Women come together in these groups to share their problems and joys and contribute money which is given to one or two members each person in her turn. Women have been sensitised through such groups on pertinent issues and income generating activities are also carried out by the women.

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

ola.mahadi's picture

inspiring post

As i keep teeling myself it is not over and not too late as long as you a live and have a dream.
Great post sister
Take vare and stay coonected

It is never too late to try make your way to your dream and left up your expectation.
Sudanes Women Building Peace
www.suwepmovement.org

Dana W's picture

Hi, It’s never too late to do

Hi,
It’s never too late to do something you desire. That’s the important thing of all that any woman and girl in the world should know and live according to. I would be very happy to read where you stand, or take part in the ‘njangi’ groups” cause it sound like a great way to empower women and promote ideas.
Thank you very much for sharing your inspiring voice!
Dana

adeakins's picture

Attend every njangi!

Keep lending your voice to change. Make sure you are at ever njangi that is planed. And bring others! Spread the word like wildfire!

-Aaron

LisaXi's picture

Education is a Must Have

I love the persistence you've shared in Auntie Regina's story, and her mantra of "Education is a must have for every woman no matter her age".

Thank you for sharing your story.

mikabo's picture

VOF Listener

Thank you Almighty for this essay.

You have written a very powerful and thorough account of women's affairs in Camaroon. The end result is that these problems you describe will eventually cease to exist. You are telling the world the condition of human rights for women in your country as it is NOT represented by official policy. This is where the differences are to be made. There are major discrepancies between official policies and actual realities world wide; but as we begin to communicate about the facts, people in positions of power will be forced to correct these problems. Merely witnessing the truth, enables the truth. You have done your job well and I now understand the divisions of power in Camaroon much more....

Thank you for shining a light on the truth for your sisters.

In Gratitude,

MiKaBo

tiffany_anne's picture

So Glad To Read This

Thank you so much for sharing this. I love the way you pin-point and expose the problems preventing women from education, but also how you included solutions and ways to change. It's so important to see how things could be, even when looking at the bad. And thank you for sharing Aunty Regina's story! What an inspiration! Her determination to educate her daughters and educate herself, no matter how long she had to wait, is a true testament to the strength of women, and I think she's an aunty worth bragging about. :)

Thanks for your story.

Tiffany

Almighty's picture

Let's learn from Aunty Regina

Hello Tiffany,
Thanks a lot for taking out the time to read my work.
I strongly believe we can learn and draw inspiration from each other's experiences. From Aunty Regina, we realise that once we are determined, we would achieve our goals no matter how long it takes.
Let's keep the spirit moving!
Almighty

Hello sisters,
It is inspiring to know that one's write ups are read with keen interest by others who are part of the battle. In the struggle for the betterment of our lot, inspiration and the determination to write, educate, work and blog until something happens plays the magic no matter how long it takes.
Your comments mean the world.
Let's keep it moving!
Almighty

jacquesato's picture

Aunty Regina is a sheroe

Hi Almighty:
Thanks for sharing the inspiring story of your aunty Regina, I'm happy she's finally getting the education she was denied when she was a young girl. You're right, so much abuse is going on against women around the world, we must become the change and stop that!!
I'd also like to know more about the njangi groups you mentioned, I find them very empowering!
Hugs,

Jacqueline

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