Education for the Girl child too

bubohevet
Posted October 16, 2019 from Cameroon

I have never felt reduced as a woman, until I became part of this community am going to be narrating some experiences I encountered for the time I spent there.

As a teacher and an educated woman, I was previledged to serve my nation, Cameroon in the domain of education as a Chemistry teacher.

When I was transfered to work in this community for five years, there were many difficulties I encountered during my time of being there, but the worst difficulty I encountered was being accepted first, as an educated single woman and secondly, the hindrance to express my full potential as a woman. In this community, there is this belief that, the girl child is restricted to getting married, raising children, serving their husbands, cooking for the family, and should not be educated  just like the boy child and has no right to any leadership position. In this very community, girls/women are not supposed be allowed to speak in public places, and if they have to meet a man say at the road, and have to greet them, it should be done with full respect and consideration to the superiority of the man. Usually this should be done in such a way that the woman/girl is obliged to sit on her fits in the course of greeting the man/men, and never allowed to shake hands with them in the process of doing so. I only learned about this after about two years of my living and working in this community. When I first came, I was not informed about this life style so I will most often want to greet everyone by a hand shake, and after sometimes I realized that some men will not even allow you shake hands with them. Most of the times, it was so embarrassing and that was why I started asking a lots of questions about the tradition of that community and this is how I discovered many things that I could not take.

While interacting with my students at school, I equally learned that the boys at their tender ages were already raised/taught by their community to discriminate and look down on the opposite sex, and should be treated as servants and not equals. Each time i instructed that the classroom should be cleaned by all the students, I realized that all the boys will shout in a chorus saying "Madam it is the responsibility of the girls to clean the classroom", and they meant what they said. This got me asking a lot of questions, just to learn that cleaning at home and other house chores was restricted to the girl child. When I had learned of all these gender abuse/bias that was not only practiced in communities but equally in schools, I made up my mind to educate and to fight against this discrimination against the girl child. At that time I was still single between the ages of 23 and 27, so the  community considered me already too old for marriage so I was not respected by some of the villagers, and surprisingly some educated ones too just because their belief system placed value on early marriages for girls. This was again one of the most hurting experiences while in that community not to talk of when some of my female students were forced to drop out of school and were given husband at their tender ages. It was so heart breaking that the best academic performances were recorded by my girls, but were not allowed to pursue their beautiful dreams owing to these terrible practices against the girl child. I struggled to fight it at my own personal level at school and most often I visited some of their parents and encouraged them to give their girl children the opportunity to education, but my efforts were in vain because I was made to understand that I have no right to tell them what to choose for their children. Finally, I was transferred to another school so I had to leave that community. And after I left, I only got news that my students were all crying especially the girls and recently I equally learned that most of them were given into marriage as soon as they attained primary sexual maturity. This child marriage was very much sponsored and encouraged by this community. Till this moment, my heart bleeds for those children's dreams and future being shattered by the bad traditions and beliefs of men. 

Comments 45

Log in or register to post comments
bubohevet
Oct 16
Oct 16

Thanks for the opportunity to share my story

fatma maleta
Oct 23
Oct 23

i loved it thanks for sharing , hopefully this can end someday

Lisbeth
Oct 16
Oct 16

Dear Bobohevet,
You are dearly welcome to world pulse and a big congrats too on your amazing article. It's your first post I suppose...
I guess the feeling is wonderful with your first post? Lovely!
It's so sad to hear all these stuffs in your current country. As painful as it may sound you finally reliase it's the truth happening there.
Thanks very much for sharing this to uplift other girls and women.
Regards

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hi Lisbeth
Thanks you so much for your back-up message to my story. Its indeed an encouragement to me

Jill Langhus
Oct 16
Oct 16

Hello Bubohevet,

Welcome to World Pulse, dear:-) Thanks for sharing your sad story, dear. What community is this that you're talking about, and where do you live now? Are you drawn to go back to that community to continue to help those girls to have a fighting chance at fulfilling their dreams and to continue to change norms? I talk to a technology teacher who teaches here in Spain every week as I'm learning Spanish. She also said that she makes sure that boys and girls are required to clean up after themselves, and even some of them have already been taught that it's girls or womens' work and they push back on her about it. It's sad to see that even 10 or 11 they have already formed this idea in the their young minds and quite possibly will be harder to shift at a later point. We can't give up, though. We deserve better!

I'm looking forward to seeing more posts from you.

I hope you're safe and well, and that you're having a good week.

XX

bubohevet
Oct 16
Oct 16

Thank you dear Jill Langhus
This community community am talking about is located in the Far North Region of Cameroon, a village by name Boukoula in Mayo Tsanaga division where I was teaching and had been transferred from there. Am presently in Ngaoundere, the Adamawa region Cameroon.
I still receive calls from some of my former students in GBHS Boukoula though I seldom visit the environment since am currently working here too. Thanks for your quick response to my story!

Jill Langhus
Oct 18
Oct 18

You're welcome, dear:-)

Oh, I see. I bet you do receive calls from them:-)

I hope you're having a good Friday, and that you have a great weekend, too!

XX

Tarke Edith
Oct 16
Oct 16

Hello sister
You are highly welcome to world pulse .
This is a platfum where our stories are shared so freely .
Thanks for sharing your thoughts
About this isure of early marages .you are doing a great job there dear keep on
Have a nice day

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hi Sister
Thanks and thank you for reading my story! Child marriage is a type of slavery and should truly be discouraged around the world.

Hello, Teacher Bubohevet,

Welcome to World Pulse! It's a joy to know another voice form Cameroon is rising up and a Chemistry teacher at that!

Thank you for being brave enough to share the realities girls face in the community you once taught. That was really heartbreaking. I could imagine your students crying because they were married off at a young age. I hope this type of culture ends. We need to respect their rights, too, not force them against their will.

You are in a very influential position to educate your students in whatever classroom you are in. Teachers shape the thoughts of the future generation. I hope you can inspire both girls and boys about what gender equality looks like. That is the impact you are going to leave the next generation. I'm proud of you!

Please continue sharing your stories here.

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hi Dear Karen Q.
Thanks so so much for your encouragement upon reading my story. Really heartbreaking to see what our girls go through. They deserve to choose and pursue their dreams too!

You're welcome, dear teacher. It's truly heartbreaking especially when there are circumstances that are beyond our control. Yes, they deserve a better life. May there be more teachers with the same heart and advocacy like yours. Keep up the great work! Enjoy your weekend!

Anita Shrestha
Oct 17
Oct 17

Dear
Thank you very much for your hard work

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Dear Anita
You're welcome and thanks for reading my story!

Anita Shrestha
Oct 17
Oct 17

Welcome

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hi Anita
You're welcome and thanks so much for your encouragement

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hello Bubohevet,
A big welcome to World Pulse. As I read your story I was so glad to know that some of the girls in the community you were teaching in are still reaching out to you. You have sparked change. It is so clear that in that community and in so many communities around the world, there is a determined plan still in place to continue to teach young boys that they deserve to be superior. You have shown those girls - and boys - that there is another way. As women across your country come together to press for change, as we are doing globally here together through World Pulse, we collectively will not leave any girl behind. Your beautiful and heart-felt story is an inspiration that with each step change is created.
In sisterhood,
Tam

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Dear Tamarack
You're highly welcome and thanks so much for your encouragement upon reading my story. Your contributions count. The future is promising.!

Jacqueline Namutaawe

Hello Bubohevet thanks for taking the first step and writing a story. Welcome to World Pulse feel at home sharing and encouraging fellow sisters.

Oct 17
Oct 17
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hi Dear Jacqueline.
Thank you!

Ifeyinwa Ezeagu
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hello Bubohevet,
Welcome to World Pulse! This is a home for sisters to share their stories and encourage one another.
I share in your experience. When I was reading your stories, I could relate it directly with what is obtainable in Nigeria.
Let's keep shinning light in our little corners, one day, the whole world will be lighted bright.

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hi Ifeyinwa
Thanks so much for your encouragement upon reading my story. Indeed worth sharing

ANJ ANA
Oct 17
Oct 17

Dear Bubohevet,
A warm welcome to the World Pulse Family.
Thank you for sharing and being so courageous to speak about the discrimination. You were already a model for girls, who were crying when you left there. Definitely, they were impressed and somehow they will surely take their learning from you in their mind and action as far as they can. And similarly, the boys who have got a chance to be your student, surely realize your teaching at some of the points in their life. So please continue inspiring and speaking/acting against all discrimination and violence against girls.
I am so happy that you are a teacher and a teacher is the one who can multiply the result of awareness so fast than anyone. You are a changemaker, thank you so much for being who you are.
in solidarity,
anjana

bubohevet
Oct 17
Oct 17

Dear ANJ
Thanks immensely for taking the time to read my story and sharing your thoughts.

Olutosin
Oct 17
Oct 17

I feel so sad for girls of the community. An outsider from another community, at a personal level can not do much, but advocacy, awareness continuous education from people and other organisations will go a long way to transform lives. Not just for girls but for everyone.
Thanks for Sharing your story with us.

bubohevet
Oct 18
Oct 18

Thanks dear

Olutosin
Oct 17
Oct 17

I feel so sad for girls of the community. An outsider from another community, at a personal level can not do much, but advocacy, awareness continuous education from people and other organisations will go a long way to transform lives. Not just for girls but for everyone.
Thanks for Sharing your story with us.

Rosylyne Nabaala
Oct 18
Oct 18

Thank you so much for sharing this and may God open their minds for them to know the girls rights.

bubohevet
Oct 18
Oct 18

Thanks dearly

Carol-Alyce
Oct 18
Oct 18

Dear Bobohevet. Thank you for sharing your story. There is do much work to be done for gender equality in our beloved Cameroon. I applaud your efforts . A drop of water can become a mighty wave. Warmest, Carol

bubohevet
Oct 18
Oct 18

Thanks so much for your encouragement dear Carol

Juliet Acom
Oct 18
Oct 18

Hi Bubohevet,

Its a pleasure to welcome you to world pulse platform!
What you have shared is a typical African girl child story. Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your own life and encoyraging mothers to raise their child better

bubohevet
Oct 19
Oct 19

Hi Juliet,
Thank you so much for your contributions. That is true, as a girl child we grew up in it and had accepted it without even questioning why the girl child was labeled as such "inferior", just to discover that they are just norms the society built in order to cage and enslave the female gender! Making her fearful, vulnerable, shy, and therefore unable to maximize her potentials. But today we are shaking these tables for strength, freedom and equality.
Thanks again.

Hello Bubohevet, thank you so much for this write-up. I can quickly relate with your story because I work with an organisation called Gender Empowerment and Development (GeED). We work on School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV). We have worked in 3 regions, in 60 schools for the past 6years. For the next 3years we are working in the centre and Littoral regions with 60 schools including primary and universities.

This issue of School drop outs due to early marriages, GBV in schools is our day to day battle.
I applaud your work. Don't minimise the one person you talk to on this matter because it will go a long way to change many. I will love to read more on the challenges you face on the field so that together we can have a greater impact. Blessed weekend

bubohevet
Oct 19
Oct 19

Hi Jap,
Thank you so much and more power to your elbow for that great exploit/impact you and your team are making in Douala, Yaounde and the other regions of Cameroon. The educational milieu really need to be sensitised especially as they are still young so that they don't pass on the toxic stuff they are carrying against the girls/women to the next generation.

Roselyn Achamber
Oct 20
Oct 20

Dear bubohevet,
Welcome to World Pulse and congratulations on your first story.
Well-done for the efforts you have made so far. I want to assure you that they are not in vain.
Your situation you described is similar to what obtains in my area here in Nigeria.
Take courage in the fact that with the advent of women emancipation and empowerment such attitudes and beliefs will eventually crumble and pave way for equity.

Qurratulayn Khan
Oct 20
Oct 20

Hello Bubohevet,
wow girl, proud on you
welcome on world pulse dear
best wishes

Tshilobo Matanda
Oct 20
Oct 20

Dear bubohevet,
Welcome to worldpulse and congrats for your first story. It is amazing reading such kind of story of women making differences in their communities and shaking patriarchal norms. I do belief that we need more women standing up and speaking out about women and girls abuse in Africa.

Gwei Mainsah
Oct 23
Oct 23

Dear Bubohevet
We understand what you went through in that community and as well what the girls are going through. We appreciate your sharing of such instances with us, but do not relent from your efforts. Maybe you had contacts with one or two girls from that community. Communicating with them and encouraging them to pursue their education will be a very good idea. Imagine out of the whole community if one girl could go through the challenges and succeed in her educational career to earn a good job it will be a good opening for others to start thinking about the importance of educating the girl child. I appreciate your endeavor and need for the education of the girl child and encourage you to stay connected with some of the people in that community even though you are not more there sharing information with them about the importance of the education of the girl child as well as the disadvantages of early girl's child marriages.

fatma maleta
Oct 23
Oct 23

thanks for sharing its truly sad experience , your truly a brave woman keep doing your work , you cant help everyone but can make great impact like you did in those girls lives

EmpowerU
Oct 24
Oct 24

Stay strong. Thank you for sharing. This was a moving article and I would hope that your words ripple into the minds of the community and life changes .

Habeesowye
Oct 24
Oct 24

Thank you for the work you do. I hope this culture of seeing the girl child less human than the boy child becomes history someday. As a father raising 2 girls, I am deliberate in letting my girls know they are in no way less *human* than boys. I also let them know that they can achieve whatever they set out to do and that they sky is just the starting point. I also think if everyone will speak out against gender discrimination in our different circles we will help put an end to this evil.

Anum Shakeel
Oct 30
Oct 30

More power to you!

Oluwatoyin Olabisi
Nov 01
Nov 01

Hello Sister,
You can be the messiah of the community.See it as a great opportunity and I am willingly to collaborate with you in this area. There is need to bring the attention of regional and global organizations to this problem particularly Girls not Brides. Looking forward to hear from you. This is time to make an impact and not be sad. I also know a number of persons from Cameroon like Immaculate Bih a Civil Engineer you can google about it. I am very sure she will be passionate about this issue. Looking forward to hear from you.
Please follow me back