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Opinions Sun, 15 Oct 2017

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The girl-child still entrapped

The girl-child in Ghana, as she is in other African countries, is still challenged by an assortment of stereotypes. The setting aside of a day to highlight her challenges with a view to reversing these, as took place last week, could not have come at a better time.

She is still the washer of the household bowls – hewer of wood and drawer of water in many a household in rural and some parts of urban Ghana.

The daily order to her to go wash the bowls is the beginning of the stereotypes as her brothers watch and learn from.

Her education is not considered as critical as her male counterparts in the same compound; the notion that her place in adulthood is still the kitchen: still an entrenched idea in the minds of many parents. Interestingly, some mothers also go with this position when it is for them to start educating the girl-child that both boy and girl have a role to play in keeping the house in order.

We should not limit discussions about the plight of the girl-child to only the day set aside for the commemoration of her situation because the challenge involved in reversing the stereotype is enormous and could take years to occur.

A holistic treatment of this situation is required if we are to make headway in arresting the unfortunate social anomaly which unfortunately holds sway even among some educated Africans.

Let the religious leaders from the two great Abrahamonic faiths, Islam and Christianity, do more than they are doing in reversing this trend. The near misogynic treatment of matters pertaining to the feminine sex is generally awful and needs a massive social overhaul.

The misinterpretation of the scriptures has a hand somewhat in this equation that is why we demand the involvement of the religious leaders.

In Saudi Arabia, we have learnt about plans to now allow women to drive; the first time that they are going to be allowed to do so since the Kingdom was founded close to a century ago.

There is no doubt that with time, the stereotyping would give way to better handling of this rather important yet ignored subject.

The girl-child is still being stopped from going beyond the JHS level in education as her male counterparts are encouraged to continue.

Statistics continue to pop up about how girls when given the necessary push can reach wherever their male counterparts get to. We are denying society the opportunity of benefiting from the enormous potentials of the girl child.

We have come a long way from our primitive past and should adopt progressive ways of responding to modern day realities. It is unacceptable that the girl child continues to suffer such negative stereotypes even in urban areas.

Were it possible we would have suggested the criminalization of the denial of education to the girl-child so that parents who still out of ignorance or sheer wickedness tread on this path would be sanctioned.

Columnist: dailyguideafrica.com

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