We live in a world today where the worlds attention is being tailored to favour women in all works of life. Empowering the girl child is of upmost importance and cannot go unnoticed. I equally stand for the motion of female empowerment and gender EQUITY
I was embarrassed one day after carrying out a health education campaign talking about the sexual and reproductive health rights of women when a young man in his early 20’s met me and had this weird look on his face. For a moment I paused and asked myself if maybe I had made an error during the talk or said something offensive. The young man asked me a very disturbing question, he said “so everything these days Is about women, okay then, you people should keep empowering the girls with words and we will keep empowering them too with our “own words and actions”, since boys no longer need advice”. For a moment I stood there transfixed wondering what he meant by “our own words and actions”, it was not until later after much thinking and asking a few male colleagues of mine then did I get to understand what he was Insinuating . At first I couldn’t help but laugh about it but then, that statement was “pregnant” with a thousand meanings.
Hitherto, some thoughts keep traversing my mind and as a public health expert I think it’s about time we start talking about this. Here are a few questions that constantly pass through my mind:
1. The victims of most rape incidents are girls, but the act was actually committed by the male gender.
2. Unlawful abortions as a result of unplanned pregnancies by most females were/are as a result of both a male and female coming together to perform the act.
3. In Africa, more than 90% household heads are males. Therefore implying that educational favoring the males in most cases are perpetuated by the male household heads.
Those are just a few examples I could think of when writing this. Now the question goes thus: “after empowering the female about their sexual and reproductive health and rights, who empowers the Male gender? “
Do not misquote me but I think we have focused so much energy on empowering the girl child and leaving out a very important factor, the males.
They need to be equally educated about sexual and reproductive health and rights.
They need to be taught and reminded on the consequences of rape, unplanned pregnancies and biased access to education.
Educating the females and leaving out the males will solve a problem at hand while creating more problems in the future.
Equal education on the sexual and reproductive healths and rights should be meted out to both males and females.
It is popularly said “to solve a problem, we need to first tackle it from the roots”