It has been a few days since we celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child. It was just for a day that the girl child was respected, honoured and revered.
11 October marks the day the girl child is celebrated for all her accomplishments and not what the world has reduced her to be.
Daily, reports about the ill-treatment of women surface and flood all media. Both big and small. Recently, the BBC has released a documentary titled “Sex for Grades“, which addresses the prevalent issue in Ghana and Nigeria of lecturers taking advantage of female students in exchange for giving them good grades.
This, of course, becomes one of the many documentaries on issues affecting women with little action taken to address the elephant in the room. It seems news reports are quick to raise “awareness” and sound the alarm bells, yet slow to advocate for actual change and champion practical steps to resolve the highlighted issue.
South Africans are still mourning the deaths of their sisters at the hands of perpetrators who assume ownership over women’s bodies.
Perpetrators who prefer not to be called out by their gender, yet can not be held accountable for playing their part in making the world a dangerous place .#MyBodyNotYourCrimeScene, A hashtag, a statement, a mantra, that women are adopting to remind the world that they are more than just objects of exploration.
Women are not tests subjects to evaluate male dominance. Neither are they a table, for those who suffer from the fragile masculine, to sit at and feast upon.
We continuously set aside days and months to momentarily celebrate the girl child. We applaud the female body for its fight for the equality of all. We vote and unwrap the joys of freedom that came as a gift from the thousands of women who marched right up to the face of oppression and demanded shackles be loosened.
But still set our boots on her neck and tell her she was created to serve the man. The one whose freedom was earned at the expense of her dignity. At what point does the female become human?
At what point does she draw her right to simply live? When is she to breathe without having to pay for it by being turned into a victim? At what point does the girl child walk out of the door without fear of never seeing herself in the mirror again?
– Anne-Sharlene Murapa | A Zimbabwean Student at African Leadership University Rwanda.