All this the girl child hears from men old enough to be her father even before she starts to walk.
At age seven, she is carried on her uncle’s lap to reply to his hello. She walks into a shop with her mother, and men comment, “ such a beautiful girl.”
As a teenager, she is told to mind the way she carries herself. She tries to play soccer, and she is reminded that girls do not play soccer.
“Don’t dress like that.”
“You can’t go to that place.”
“Why do you aspire to become an engineer? “
“Why don’t you become a doctor instead.”
I can go on and on; the list is endless. The girl child grows with the mindset that society needs her to be perfect. She thinks that to grow into a societal-accepted woman, she must adhere to all these conditions.
The truth is that, the voices never stop. I am a grown woman now, and whenever I walk in, the voices are rising.
“Who is funding her?”
“She couldn’t have done this on her own”
“Why is she dressed like that?”
At work, the girl child is constantly pushed,
“You can’t handle this role.”
“Focus on the family for now and forget about a promotion.”
“Don’t be greedy; women raise homes, not houses.”
Another day, we’ll talk about the pressures that society placed on a single successful woman.
“Oh, she needs to find a man.”
“Her clock is ticking.”
“Someone needs to tell her to reduce her age and stop driving expensive cars?
You start to wonder at some point, when does it end? Even if you stick to the clock. Graduate with no hassle, get married, and raise a family; you still get to hear the voices.
“Her stomach is big, oh.”
“Is she not done having kids?”
“Wow, she has only girls.”
Let’s allow women to be women. If she wants to get a Ph.D. let her
If she wants to buy properties, let her.
If she doesn’t want to have children, it is no anyone’s business.
Every day as women, we have to dust off strong painful words and opinions. They call us strong women, hard women, as if a woman is unbreakable, untouchable, and irreplaceable. Put an end to it, to the women out there who say these things to their fellow women. Let us take a bold step for change on this day- The international Day of a girl child.
The girl child is to be treasured and supported. According to the united nations achieving gender equality and women empowerment is integral to building a nation. That is why we celebrate the girl child annually on October 11th.