LETTER TO EDITOR

Just like girls, boys suffer from social ills and need protection

Much as girls may be facing different challenges from boys, issues affecting both genders should be given equal attention.

In Summary

• Society, including the media, has bought this misconstrued notion that girls face more challenges than boys.

• Today, everyone is expected to be on the frontline to support activities geared towards empowering the girl.

Boys across the world have been falling prey to challenges of modern life such as drugs and too much expectation from society. A lot has been done to give the girl a voice, but the boy has been left to bottle up every bit of anguish they face. 

Boys are told not to cry, even when in pain as this is seen as a sign of weakness and subject to ridicule by society. You will always hear a parent in the African society telling a boy not to cry "like a girl."

On the other hand, girls seem to have already found their voice and are ready to compete on equal terms with boys. From academics to leadership, women are doing well, if not better than men. Young men are literally on their own. They are left to manoeuvre their way in life with little or no mentorship.

Society, including the media, has bought this misconstrued notion that girls face more challenges than boys. Today, everyone is expected to be on the frontline to support activities geared towards empowering the girl. There is more public outcry over girls suffering sexual violence than boys.  Sexual violence against boys is far more common than we think, but it goes unreported.

Most boys who survive such crimes feel shame or self-doubt, believing that they should have been "strong enough" to fight off the perpetrator, as this is what society has taught them of being a man. As we advocate the empowerment of girls, it is also important to strengthen and empower boys. 

Much as girls may be facing different challenges from boys, issues affecting both genders should be given equal attention. We should strive to see our children get equal opportunities so that none of them feels neglected.

Victor Ouko, Rongo University