The Words Peace and Security, its Real Concept!
Growing up as a child with disability in the western part of Africa was always a force to reckon with; its all starts in the family when all thinks you will be a very big burden to society. As a child with disability my mother was keenly advice not to enroll me to school when i attained school going age. This was because society frowns at the education of the girl child. They believe all that is needed for a girl child is the kitchen, and at the early ages these girls are forcedly given out to marriages. Some husbands are as too old to be their fathers, and out of ignorance lure to such traps. I am not saying marriage is not good, in fact marriage is beautiful when is done rightly with the right people. However, my heart is always saddened when i see teenagers acting as parents and mostly how they become parents.
In the year 2015 I worked with an insurance company, and as part of my initiatives to sell my products. I booked an appointment with one of the public school to go advertised my products to its staffs.
Upon arrival, it was necessary for me to seek permission first from the head of the department (headmaster). At the office of the headmaster, he kindly asked me to wait for him since he was attending to others. So I took a seat just right in front of the entrance. As I was waiting, I was ear dropping the conversation since I was closer.
And it was all about a parent(mother) with her fourteen (14) year old daughter who was pregnant. The mother has come to plead with the head master to allowed her pregnant daughter to still stay in school so she could be able to sat and write the upcoming Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
Upon interrogation of the girl, she admitted the person who impregnated her was not a minor but a grown up man in her community, who offered her 10ghc=2$ and a soft drink to have sex with her.
I was grieved when I heard it, so when it was my turn to visit the head master I needed a confirmation and its turns out as exactly what I heard. This can't be security, neither was it peace for the girl child. Her future, her dreams has suddenly be switched off. If she survived the trauma of child birth, still she is left with the trauma of parenting. A child given birth to another child as I put it.
However, for me as a disabled girl child, this compounded issues! Where I come from disabled kids are labeled as 'bad luck", and " misfortunes ". It is until recently when the potential of disables people reveals their worthiness . I mean now society have come to realize the potentials of disable people as equal as the " so called able". With proper attentions and care along with effective education disable people are now changing the lives of their community members, with their skills and potentials. Even as the discrimination and stigma continues we believe one day we will be recognised by our skills and intelligence rather than our disabilities. And I am proud to be one of such. Off course the journey of life is full of up and down and one is not excepted because of disabilities.
When I was a kid my biological mother was advice by her niece not to enrolled me at school due to the above reasons I mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, my mother left and did exactly the opposite and because of her courage I am able to add my voice to this wonderful campaign on this great platform. I am Lisbeth A. Salifu, from Ghana precisely the northern part of it. I am a holder of Diploma studies in Organization and a person with disability.
I am very proud to associate and dedicate my holder of diploma studies to my mother, she worked tired less to see that I attended the necessary school and hence were I am today. She thought me love, she thought me to respect, she thought me to keep my integrity strong, she thought me patience, humility, and most importantly to always be confident and appreciate who I am. She inculcated in me the qualities of a virtue woman. She also trained me on Godly principles, like the bible says "parents train the child the way he should go and when he grows he will not leave those ways"(Proverbs 22:6). She actually gave me peace and security by inculcating these wonderful qualities on me when I was a kid, and in turned these qualities remained with me. Education help me to know where to go, and what to look for, and above all to preserved in making my goals attainable, this is security and besides its comes along with inner peace!
Through all my education I have come across these two words used interchangeably and at some point I think its concept is greatly misplaced. At the home the husband tells the wife I am doing it for the sake of your security, but this does not reflect in his physical attitude towards the wife. He beats her whenever she offends him or does something he did not agrees with. He demands for sex anytime not taking into consideration the needs of her wife whether she also feel same towards him. He goes out and admits adultery with other concubines without thinking about the state of his actions towards the wife. These wives are forced to become breadwinners of their own kids, working tirelessly to cloth, feed, and pay school fees of their kids. I strongly say this is a threat to their comfort, both child and mother and therefore can't be security, neither is it peace!
Again inside the classroom the boy whisper into a girl ear next to him I love you so I want to give you peace, next minute she rapes the girl either on consent or without it. The teachers are not left out, even with their beautiful wives at home they still lure these girls become their prey. This has cause the rise of teenage pregnancies, school drop out etc putting all the time the girl child on the front line, definitely the girl child has no security, no peace within.
This attitudes we see reflects on the community at large, all are crying for peace and security. If a girl child cries, so as her mother, her siblings, and her community. Then i tell myself, it is not adding up; if peace and security is integrated from the family levels why then is it not reflecting in our societies? Why are all still crying out loud for peace and security? A lots of abuses in our streets, people take the law into their own hands, no respect for the elderly now, no protection of the child, hatred, resentfulness, no hard work, greed, lack of patience, etc Looking from my lens a lots of questions runs through my head and i ask myself; How can we have peace and security when the girl child is refused education? The girl child is not given her rightful position? The girl child is not protected? Do you not observe the impact of the girl child in peace making? Why do you placed the woman in the kitchen? Why do you underestimate the role of the mother in providing security for her kids and the society? Just to mention few of my thought! Until individuals, societies, opinion leaders, change makers, governments, etc realizes these above questions and addresses them, our peace and security will still be limited. Let's all go back to the drawing board and tackle the root cause, that root cause starts with respecting the girl child potentials, its starts with educating the girl child, its starts with empowering the girl child, and above all protecting the girl child.
A girl, a sister, an aunt, a mother a grandmother are the only change agent to peace and security. This was even made clear during creation, the bible that others refers to as an ancient book or a good book even testified to it. "It say after the creation of Adam the first human, God saw that he was vulnerable without woman, so God put him(man) into deep sleep and took his rip and created Eve(Woman) for him"(Genesis 2:18...). Clearly, Eve was the security and peace for the husband Adam! Even God the most awesome and powerful, respected and love the views of a Woman. How much more imperfect man! Society MUST begins to see the potential of the girl child. One famous man once said " if you educate man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a whole nation" !
So I say give peace and security to the woman and she will make your society peaceful and secure. She will do this simply by inculcating this wonderful qualities to her kids. Charity they say begins at home. When a child is nurtured and groom rightful with discipline and love, with the right training qualities, she or he will be responsible in the society, hence reduce the vices we see today on our homes, streets, and societies. So let's stop the big big conferences, forums, etc and invest in the girl child. Let's empower the girl child no matter her circumstances, give her education, give her career, give her love and we will have Peace and Security all around us. Worldpulse thank you for giving me an opportunity to share my thoughts!