INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL CHILD

Help the girl child unleash her power

Securing her from violence and discrimination is the first step towards securing her future.

In Summary
  • Each week at least five cases of rape and defilement are reported, while many more go unreported. How safe is the girl?
  • It is difficult for a girl who has gone through rape, discrimination or violence to recover. And this becomes a great hindrance to her success.
Participants during past celebrations to mark a past International Day of the Girl Child in Kisii county.
Participants during past celebrations to mark a past International Day of the Girl Child in Kisii county.
Image: FILE

The 20th Century came with many revolutions that have brought a lot of changes and made the world a better place. One revolution has remained constant, the rights of the girl child.

Many countries, NGOs, unions and corporates have joined the battle to help the girl win her rights. For years, the girl was denied her basic rights, such as education. She was expected to do house chores as the boy attended school.

But this is changing. The girl now has access to education and even outperforms the boy in national exams.

Careers that were a preserve of boys are now being flooded by girls. Equal employment opportunities is an issue that's gaining traction, that’s why there is the two-thirds gender rule debate in the National Assembly.

However, there is need for the girl to be protected from vultures who take every opportunity to devour her. Each week at least five cases of rape and defilement are reported, while many more go unreported. How safe is the girl?

 

Many policies and laws have been made to protect the girl. But still, she finds herself under siege. We have cases of nine-year-old girls being defiled by 40-year-old men. What is it that the shameless man is looking for in a nine-year-old girl that he cannot get in a woman his own age. This is insanity of the highest degree.

Worst of all, most culprits walk scot-free after they are arrested for ‘lack of substantial evidence’, yet the victim is traumatised physically and psychologically.

The girl is the pillar of future generations and she has to be protected from all harm, including rape. Do not allow your daughter to walk alone in the dark or in secluded areas, because you never know who is watching and waiting to pounce on her.

Most times the culprits target vulnerable defenceless girls and carry out their ugly deed in areas where they know they will go unnoticed.

Little girls are easily lured by food, flattering words and presents. “He told me I should follow him to his house so that he would give me sweets. Upon reaching the house, he started touching me on my private parts and defiled me. Later on, he threatened to kill me if I told anyone about this.” This is one of the many narratives we hear all the time.

Securing the girl from any form of violence or discrimination is the first step towards securing her future.

That’s why we came up with a scholarship programme at Securex Agencies to help our employees’ children continue with their education. To our surprise, the majority of the best performing are girls whom we continue to get exciting reports about from their schools.

The girl is the pillar of future generations and she has to be protected from all harm, including rape. Do not allow your daughter to walk alone in the dark or in secluded areas, because you never know who is watching and waiting to pounce on her.

It is difficult for a girl who has gone through rape, discrimination or violence to recover. And this becomes a great hindrance to her success. We have to stand up and stop at nothing in fighting for the protection of the girl child.

In line with the theme of this year's International Day of the Girl Child, 'Empowering girls for a brighter tomorrow', we have to drum up support for the girl and stop at nothing in fighting for her rights.

The culprits who violate, discriminate against or defile the girl because of her vulnerability should face the full wrath of the law. The battle in securing the girl child will only be won with a combined effort from everyone, including governments, human rights agencies and other institutions who believe in the power of the girl.

Executive director, Securex