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Not yet enough for the girl


Not yet enough for the girl child
I have of late been hearing so much about having done enough for the girl child. ‘What about the boy’ has become quite common rhetoric in Kenya which is a very patriarchal society. Those involved in the fight for the girl have been met with a lot hostility while may are out to correct us “it is a high time to focus on the boy child” they say. In fact one preacher the other day said that the boy child is endangered.

But is it enough for the girl child?

NO. I believe there is a lot yet to be done. All children need attention but one has to look keenly at the life of a girl to know that there is need for continued attention. Even as we pay attention to the boy child to help them unlearn the negative masculinities that they have been socialised into, we must not lose sight of the plight of girls.

Last month I listened to the story of a young girl that made my heart bleed. Taabu (not her real name) was sold to some man since her family couldn’t take care of her and so the man got himself a wife (a 13 yr old wife!!). She had to face the wrath of the man anytime she was seen as not toeing the line. She was never referred to as a ‘wife’ but had to do all the wife duties. Rape was the order of the day and she was not to complain since ‘she had been paid for’. She had dreams for her life and marriage was last on the list. She wanted to be self dependent and be able to make decisions on her life. Many are the times when the man was tired of her and she was chased away from the house since the man had brought in another lady who is ‘more woman’ than her she was told. Those are the nights that she had to chose between sleeping in the streets and getting raped or agreeing to sleep with some man for food; what choices are those?

Unfortunately the wonderfully created woman has been relegated to an object of pleasure just because of being a woman. Her natural roles have been used to justify social roles. She deserves better and we can not rest until this happens. If anyone thinks that the boy and the girl are at par today, then they need to travel wider.

As long the girl is the one that carries a pregnancy when she doesn’t even understand herself;

As long as the girl is the one that drop out of school if she falls pregnant and the boy finishes his school;

As long as the girl is the domestic worker that has to take care of families while she needs the care herself;

As long as the girl is the one that gets embarrassed when her dress is all red stained and wondering why she is bleeding because nobody told her that it is part of being a woman;

As long the girl is the one that continues to be bargained for like a price and dowry decided upon by strangers, and voila she is ‘legally bought’;

I will still focus on the girl child, and I have no apologies.


jadefrank's picture

Hi Sophie, The story of Taabu

Hi Sophie,

The story of Taabu and others like her is heartbreaking. Thank you for laying out these stipulations for what needs to be overcome in order for the girl child to have equal opportunities.

I am interested to hear about the work you do with the Young Women's Leadership Institute in Kenya.

Warm regards,

Sophie's picture

Young Women's Leadership Inst

Hi Jade,
I hope you are well. Please contact me and I will share with you more on YWLI. Our website is undergoing some reconstructions but will be up soon.

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe

busayo's picture

Ride on Sophie, not yet enough

Hi Sophie,
As long as girls are still the one at the receving end of rape, assault,HIV, it is not yet enough. Infact we have just started, until any girl child, women are able to move freely without being raped,she is able to decide whether she want to have education or she want to be married and she decides the time she want to go into marriage and who to marry all over the world.As long as women are not given equal oppotunity to be presidents of countries, governors of states, legislatures and any they aspire to be in life then it is not enough.Yes,Taabu deserves better and no rest until that happens.

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Gemma's picture

My heart breaks for Taabu


At a different level, I hear the objections about boys in the United States as well. The men tell me we no longer need protections or affirmative action because women have "made it" in business, government and athletics. Yet, as the ecomony worsens, domestic violence increases. Until that trend is gone, and domestic violence is eradicated, women still need to fight for themselves and their children. I am looking forward to checking your website once it is on line.


Carole's picture

Victims of circumstances

We can never do enough for the girl child because some of our cultural practices are very destructive. Unless we have a change of attitude, the girl child will forever be the victim. So Sophie continue fighting for the girl child. Many are still trapped in lions dens like Taabu.


Genice Jacobs's picture

thank you


Thank you for sharing and for your tireless efforts to protect young girls. In male dominated societies, young girls are especially vulnerable and subject to victimization, and as such have special needs and require focused support programs. Even in progressive societies where women and girls have more equal rights, special programming for girls is still needed to support their empowerment. Girls and boys are emotionally different and face different challenges in society and as such both require specialized services.

Keep up the fight. You are an inspiration to me and others.

Genice Jacobs
Oakland, CA USA

Genice Jacobs

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