What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway? I am glad you asked. Let me share the story of a particular girl child.

At two she was separated from her parents, especially her mom. Does she not deserve a loving home and care? Or the role model of a loving mother to guide and lead her?

The one where I'm a motherless daughter | Lisa-Jo Baker- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Every girl child deserves the role model of a loving mother.
Photo Source: LisaJoBaker

At six she lived with her aunt, where she suffered physical and verbal abuse. Well, at least she had an education you argue, well, yes. But what she had in education, was lacking in other girls her age or slightly older, as she lived in a city where she watched young girls like herself get married off in child marriage. This was traumatic for the girls and herself. What is the big deal anyway with a girl child you ask?

At seven, she was exposed to the ill called child sexual abuse and molestation, as one employed to teach her taught more than his pay grade, perhaps an unsolicited ‘bonus’?. The lessons she learnt that day marked her for the longest time in her life. She was touched and made to touch, not the type that builds you, it was the type of touch that broke you into a million pieces. The real lesson however, was to never trust an adult. What is the big deal you say?

source: campaignliveus- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
source: campaignliveus

By eleven, molestation was no longer a big deal to her. She had been molested by neighbors and family friends, she was used to it. Remember the lesson she learnt at seven? Promiscuity had become the order of day.

All through the years, she endured doing more chores than her brothers, wondering why she had to be saddled with more responsibilities than they. “You are a woman, who will one day be a homemaker”, they said. She often wondered if that meant she was created for nothing other than marriage and making some man happy at her own happiness and life’s cost.

Women aren't better at multitasking than men: Research- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Sometimes it gets really too much…

She remembers her mother’s story of how her mom’s education had to be sacrificed for that of her brothers, simply because she was a girl child. “Bad investment”, some would say. So, it was natural to think that the world had done her a lot of favour by educating her. She could have been in a worse state, like her mother and the other girls who got married off.

And so she learnt to accept the barest minimum, grateful for the crumbs of life society threw her way every now and then. This prepared her very well (in a negative way of course) to accept the lesser pay, to deal quietly with the sexual power play doled to her through her working years by superior men. She was labelled an outlier, stubborn, for speaking out against colleagues who tried to assault her and other female colleagues. Sad enough, some of the labelers were fellow women, who were once girl-children. You’d think they’d know better, right? Never underestimate the power of systemic mental slavery.

The Gender Wage Gap – The Horrifying Numbers- What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Its time to close this gap!

What is the big deal with the girl child and her rights you ask? Every woman today can see a version of herself in this girl child’s story. Seems far-fetched? Well, this girl child was me.

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
The girl child (Anita Adefuye).. we failed this girl child…..

Historically, the girl child has had more exposure to dangers, and suffered the perversions society has doled out the most. If you don’t think it is time these ended, and demand she is treated equally across all spectrums, then you are part of the problem. It starts with how we treat the girl child vis-à-vis the boy child.

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
…Can we do right by this girl child? (Simi Adefuye)

So then, what is the big deal with the girl child you ask? My response- EVERYTHING!!!

She is human, she has right to life like you
She is a child, protect her innocence
She has a mind, it seeks to learn, educate her
She is talented, develop her skills
She feels pain, do not shut her down. Whatever happened to freedom of expression?
She has a voice, let her speak. I ask again- Whatever happened to freedom of expression?
She works hard, pay her her dues
She is valuable, treat her with respect
Her body is her sanctuary, and sacred to her, do not violate it
She is a girl-child, that is not a crime.

Today, I join voices with every girl child in support of the rights of the girl-child, make your voice loud, break the ceilings hanging over your heads, because you and your rights, are a big deal indeed!

What is the big deal about the girl child and her rights anyway?
Protect the girl child and her rights, it is everything!
Source: Compassion International Blog

Happy International Day of the Girl Child.

Blog Strides from Africa

Undoing the Culture of Silence Series- with Jane Ugwumadu

In August, we started an Instagram live series called “undoing the culture of silence”. Our first guest was Jane Ugwumadu, Director of Save a Child Mission.

Save a Child Mission (SACM) exists to protect the rights of vulnerable child, and children in poverty-stricken areas. They do this by “empowering adults with ‘how to’ information and creating awareness. SACM also takes action on child care related projects that will improve the well being of children in need of support.

Here is the list of their child support programs and events:

  • Care for abused children
  • Annual valentine health visit to sick children
  • Emergency Covid-19 Food Relief Program
  • Protect My Innocence! A 1 Hour Walk Campaign Against Child Abuse
  • Child Empowerment- An Annual Conference To Showcase The African’s Child Dream
  • Back To School Campaign- Educational Resources For School Children To Get Back To School
  • International Day Of The Girl Child
  • Orphanage Party- Showering kids with gifts
undoing the culture of silence with Jane Ugwumadu
Save a Child Mission- Jane Ugwumadu and some volunteers

Children face different kinds of abuse, such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse. It is important that someone is willing to hold us accountable to having these type of conversation, and doing something about it. Kudos to SACM for choosing to be that voice for the children.

In my interview with Jane, she highlights some of her organizations projects and challenges.

My interview with Jane on protecting the rights of children against sexual abuse and rape.

Episode One of Undoing the Culture of Silence Series with Jane Ugwumadu

My greatest takeaway is do NOT be a rape enabler.

Learn more about how you can partner with SACM. When you see a child subjected to any form of abuse, when in doubt, contact SACM, they can take it from them. Do your part, and speak up.

How will you do things differently? Learn more about child sexual abuse

Blog CSA Survivors Corner

What if you could take a peek into the Future….

The Adult Life of A Sexually Abused Child

What if you could take a peek into the future to see what the adult life of a sexually abused child look like?

Well you can. But today I will not be sharing my story. I will be sharing someone else’s. You know yourself and I want to say thank you for sharing!

But before I share the pictures of this comment, let me first say this: the impact of child abuse manifests in so many ways in the life of the abused, and can oftentimes follow them years into adulthood if not properly dealt with through counselling and therapy. And so it is very common to see things such as:

  1. Promiscuity/heightened sexual desire
  2. Anger/bitterness/fear
  3. Addiction: could be to drugs, sex, pornography
  4. Depression/Feelings of suicide/just plain suicide
  5. Lack of interest in sex/fear of sex
  6. Detest for the opposite sex/marriage
  7. Hallucinations/panic attack/flashbacks/trance of the event
  8. Homosexuality (This can either be a woman hating men so much she chooses to have sexual relations with same sex. Or if the abuse was from a person of same sex, it creates a desire for same sex relations). This is may seem hard to believe but lot more common than you may think or realize
  9. Paranoia/hostility/aggression
  10. Tendency to abuse others

Trust me when I say this is not an extensive list. There are physical side effects too, and yes- SPIRITUAL too. I can’t tell you how many deliverance sessions I attended. LOL. It actually feels funny now, saying it.

Next time someone tells you they have been sexually abused before, think of these and many more. How does that not trigger compassion in you towards them? Simply saying “get over it” or “it is well” or blurting out “just pray” may mean well, but does not help.

So, what does this list look like in the life of an actual human being? See below.

peek into the adult life of a sexually abused child. Did I mention there is also the tendency to pick abusive partners?
ha, the feelings of deadness and lack of willingness to do anything..
the feeling of loneliness, like no one would understand, but God….
this part here broke my heart. All 5 sisters in one family! This is how prevalent it is yet we are strangely SILENT about it
Truly a non-judgmental spirit is needed to view and support one another. Younger people need our help, not our judgement
I am so glad this story ended this way, sadly, this is not the reality for a lot of people who have been through sexual ause/rape
I mean this to everyone once sexually abused. IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!! And I am sorry it happened to you and I, but it does not have to define you!

This is why I share. Why I had to find my voice, to help you find yours, and it starts with breaking the silence, that is how we can undo the culture of silence and take back our lives.

You are an OVERCOMER and believe me when I say you can live and rise above your experiences! Thanks again V.I for sharing your story with me and the world, I do not take it lightly.

How will you be of support to someone you have identified as once raped or sexually abused? Now that you know what their lives or future COULD be?