In the wake of a number of cases of violence and abuse against girls, I decided to speak out once again on the importance of educating and protecting the girl child.
Every child has a right to life, to education, to leisure, to recreational activities and to develop mentally and emotionally, and to protection from any form of harm. Perhaps no greater harm can be done to a girl-child than denying her an education. And it is also a great harm to society.
When a young girl starts out in life, where will her journey take her?
What if instead of being treated as someone’s property to be betrothed, raped, abused, sold, with no power over her destiny, a girl is healthy, safe, educated, and empowered? What if instead she has the ability to freely make informed decisions regarding whom, when and if she marries, and when and if she wants to have children?
Like their male counterparts, they have the right to education and skill acquisition, the right to career choice and self actualization. An educated woman has the skills, information and self-confidence that she needs to be a better parent, worker and citizen.
Offering girls basic education is one sure way of giving them much greater power – of enabling them to make genuine choices over the kinds of lives they wish to lead. This is not a luxury.
Educate a girl today and she can succeed as a woman tomorrow.