Everyone is fighting for the girl child, creating NGOs for that cause. Don’t get me wrong, I’m equally passionate about it. I personally believe that empowering the girl-child and educating her will liberate her from the ignorance that makes her victims of abuse, child-parenting (early marriage), sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and so on. But, we often forget that male and female created Him them and somehow, we’ve forgotten that the girl-child we’re striving for is one half of the society. To truly get it right, both parties need to be nurtured right. Empowering the girls won’t be enough if the boys remain uneducated and we’ll only end up raising superwomen with weak men, hence, leading to a society littered with over-burdened wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, bosses, subordinates and friends, where women will be wearied, stressed and drained from having to fix themselves as well as fix an adult who ought to be fixing himself and fixing things around the house or office.
I recently wrote an article on Violence Against Women (VAW) for a women activism programme where I wrote about my personal knowledge and experiences with VAW, the causes and panacea. Amongst the panacea I wrote about was equal education for both genders. The cycle of raising strong daughters and weak sons is wrong, sons who grew to become nonchalant and feast away while the women work. I believe this education starts with the family, the picture painted by parents and how the kids are raised. Boy-child needs attention as do the girl-child, they should be equally educated on the impacts of stunted dreams, violence, unwanted pregnancy, rape, addictions, etc.
Sons should be raised to be the picture of the husbands you desire for your daughters. Sons should be raised to be accountable for their actions and not feel untouchable for shameful acts just because of their gender. They should be educated on the importance of staying committed, loving and providing for their family exclusively such that when they get support from their spouses, her input will be very much appreciated. Sons should be taught that they are the sole protector of their homes, hence, will not run off to chase pleasure with the notion that ‘my wife will handle it‘.
While we fight for the girl-child’s empowerment, we should fight for the boy-child’s education, they need to know the effect of the roles they play, the importance of them doing it right and having the right perspectives because this is the only way there can be balance in the society and good results, when we raise sons and daughters who can protect and support each other without power struggles and the fight stops being about gender alone but with humanity in mind.