#IDG2013: Celebrating girls worldwide

It was Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon who encapsulated the importance of Human Rights activism in his tweet: "Everyone can and should be an Activist…It is not an elevated status…It is your right as a citizen.. Be proactive…"
Today, we celebrate the international day of the girl child, with the hash tag #IDG2013 flying around social networks.
While, many lounge back and think: "what can I possibly do to make a difference?", many others are tweeting and retweeting #IDG2013, and celebrating and campaigning for the rights of the girl child.
What are these rights?
The right to be heard in the gathering of men; to be educated like her brothers and cousins; to enjoy her girlhood without being sold off in the name of marriage; to have a career and NOT be relegated to the hearth and matrimonial bed; to flourish and not be subdued because she is "inferior".
Simply put, the girl child is asking the world for the right to be human.
In September of 2000, world leaders converged in New York, in the highest gathering of world leaders to date, to find a solution to under-development, an end to poverty, an avenue for peace.
Together, they analysed their collective and individual problems and adopted a Millennium Declaration: a series of collective priorities for peace and security, poverty reduction, the environment and human rights.
The Millennium Declaration require member states of the United Nations to work towards eradication (or near eradication) of poverty, peaceful governance, national security and global development.
To make these happen, the leaders put up a blue print of targeted goals, the Millennium Development Goals, with an aim to see inroad strides in global development by 2015.
Although the Goals are for all humankind, they are primarily about children, because six of the eight goals relate directly to children. Meeting the last two will also make critical improvements in their lives.
Because children are most vulnerable when citizens lack essentials like food, water, sanitation and health care.
Because children are the first to die when basic needs are not met.
Because children have rights. Each child is born with the right to survival, food and nutrition, health and shelter, an education, and to participation, equality and protection rights agreed to, among others, in the 1989 international human rights treaty the Convention on the Rights of the Child.The Millennium Development Goals must be met for these basic human rights to be realized.
Because reducing poverty starts with children. Helping children reach their full potential is also investing in the very progress of humanity. For it is in the crucial first years that interventions make the biggest difference in a childs physical, intellectual and emotional development. And investing in children means achieving development goals faster.
Because educating children means securing the future of a nation.
Because education is a fundamental right to which governments committed themselves under the 1989 Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Because denying a girl access to education increases her vulnerability to abuse; her vulnerability to sexual exploitation.
Because children suffer most in cases of conflict; because children are not soldiers and shouldn’t be trained to kill; because children should not be married off to paedophiles in the name of religion.
Because gender inequality promotes poverty and poverty limits the development of children and under-development shrinks the growth of a nation.
Because like Whitney Houston (God bless her soul!), I believe the children are the future. And we should teach them and let them lead the way to global development and peace.


About Egoyibo Okoro

Beautiful. Friendly. Opinionated. Feminist. Scholarly. Political. Christian. Sometimes, I write in Engli-Igbo and/or pidgin English. Just so you know, I am naturally disgruntled about a lot of things, most especially gender inequality, human rights abuses, racism and corruption. #EndChildMarriage. #EndTerrorism. #EndPoverty. #EndRacism. #EndImperialism. The Igbo say, "egbe bere, ugo bere, nke si ibe ya ebena nku kwa ya" - Live and let live!
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8 Responses to #IDG2013: Celebrating girls worldwide

  1. prince Chioke says:

    Nice piece, EgoFresh. But I must ask; isn’t this girl-child celebration inappropriate in a way?
    Find time to go through your write-up again and you will discover that you ended up writing about CHILDREN’S welfare and rights instead of “the girl” celebration.
    Please don’t get it wrong, but I think it’s high time we started looking at the problems as they are and start finding adequate solutions. Quote me, if there’s anything like “international Boys day” choi, that will lead to another world war spearheaded by the opposite sex. Hehe!
    With the way things are going, I’m afraid soon, very soon women will take over from us (nsogbu Ga adi everywhere). Like they say, then we shall have no wars but a bunch of countries not in talking terms… Hehe!

    • Hahahaha! This my fada sef! You are so right! I failed to make the post about the girl child’s celebration. I went verbose and trailed squarely in children’s rights and welfare. Still, the girl child is marginalised more than the boy child. Its a fact! Secondly, we celebrate her in order to put an end to her plight; to see an end to her discrimination.. Not because we are being biased or because we love the girl child more. Besides, boy children are celebrated, cuddled, cherished and wanted every day. Many girl children are married off and their bride prices used to train their brothers. I think the boy child doesn’t need further celebration. Society adulates him everyday already.. And we (girls/women) don’t wish to run you over. All we are asking for is to be treated fairly and equally.t wish to run you over. All we are asking for is to be treated fairly and equally.
      Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone, powered by Easyblaze

    • Patriarchy strikes back in Prince Chioke’s rejoinder! Ego, Prince has a point though – gender is not only about girls – it is about both sexes >>>> Too much boy focus runs the risk of diluting that essential truth. De eje nu!

  2. egbuyugo says:

    Can the girlchild also demand elimination of brideprice as she’s not a commodity to be sold?

    • Its a complicated issue. Customs can’t just be wiped away overnight. It takes a majority to change a norm. Expect a post soon on the bride practice. I will deal with the issues extensively. Cheers!Cheers!
      Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld from Glo Mobile.

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