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The Education She Never Got

The Education She Never Got
My mom always believed that I deserve the education she never got while on the other hand, my dad being a typical African dad did not care about educating a girl child because she will end up in a man’s kitchen. Though my mom was not educated but she was always sure that her children were in school especially her daughter. According to her she admires cooperate women a lot because they were respected by society. She enjoyed seeing a woman driving and one day she wanted her daughter to drive too. Having a family of three boys and a daughter, my mom emphasis was on me the only girl. She was solely responsible to send me to school all by herself. This included all the fees and her little money earned from running her shop in the market could not afford me enrolling in a private school.
On the other hand my brothers were comfortably enrolled in the best private schools while I went to public schools. They were enrolled in Catholic schools, the most expensive and prestigious schools in Liberia. That means my father could afford to send all of his children to school but he deliberately refused to send his daughter to school.
As I grew older, I wonder why I was enrolled in a public school and my brothers in private school especially in Catholic Schools. Whenever I ask my mom why, she will cover up for her husband by saying he could not afford to send us all to private schools so I should be satisfy with what I have.
The older I got the better I knew that my father deliberately refused to pay my fees because he feels that I will bear another man’s name when I am married. He would accuse my mom of stealing his money to pay my fees and he will call both of us names.
All my life I attended public schools and I am proud I did. Now I am solely responsible for my parents now that my father is retired and my mom can no longer run the shop. Every time I carried their monthly supplies of food items other house hold needs, my mom cries.
One day I why is she always crying? She said she cried because she knew one day I was going be exactly who she never was. She never owned a car, neither did she drive one. She never spoke Standard English, neither did she read nor write but I did.
This is for the mothers that stood up for their daughters and to the ones that never had the courage to do so; I know you did in some other ways.
To today’s mom be strong for your daughters. Give your daughters the education she deserves even if entails enrolling her in public school do it.
Like my mom I have three sons and a daughter. She is the best thing that ever happens to me. Unlike me my daughter is enrolled in the most prestigious school in Liberia. I am also giving her the opportunity I never got. I never had the opportunity to have a government official child as a friend, or a diplomat child as a friend, I never had the opportunity to mingle with the high and mighty but my daughter does because they all school mate.

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.
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Comments

How wonderful that you had such a strong, determined mother and that you yourself are doing the same for your daughter. How could men's attitudes be changed related to educating their daughters as well as their sons? How could the connection to the traditional views of marriage, where educating daughters is only seen as benefiting their future husband's home, be changed? Where does one start? I hope with each generation we improve upon the previous one.

Diane Ezeji

antonia.h.'s picture

empowering

Your story is so sweet! Your mother really seems like a strong, determined woman and it's wonderful to see that her wishes regarding you came true. And that what she did inspired you to have the same attitude towards your daughter. I guess this is how change starts - within the family!
Thank you for such a positive story!

rozjean's picture

Cultural change

My hat is off to your mother. Her determination to give you an education is admirable. I assume
that since you have been able enroll your own daughter in private school, you have the support of your husband.. Women can do so much to change the world, but we also have to influence the men in order to effect true cultural change.
Warm wishes,
Rozjean

cassie_levy's picture

Thank you for sharing your

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so glad to see you overcame these stereotypes. I particularly like this quote:"This is for the mothers that stood up for their daughters and to the ones that never had the courage to do so; I know you did in some other ways." Your story is inspiring and motivating. Keep up the good work!

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