When I got a phone call requesting my participation in the social media campaign for the International day of the girl child, I wanted to say no. I thought I wouldn’t be able to commit to the campaign and accepting to do so with this knowledge would be irresponsible on my part. But I said yes. I said yes because I realised that it wasn’t about me. I’m merely a girl who has the privilege many girls in the world wish they had; the privilege of a voice. So many young girls in this world have been silenced, hurt, forced to grow up too soon, denied basic rights and they wish just one person could hear the words they can’t say, and voice it on their behalf. If I’ve been given the opportunity to be that voice, how could I refuse?
The International Day of the Girl Child was first observed on October 11, 2012 with the theme “Ending Child Marriage”. This came to be after the United Nations made a declaration this effect in December, 2011. There has been a noticeable decline in the world over in issues affecting the girl child since 2012. This is proof that the things we talk about are able to change; that sometimes the world is not insensitive to our plight, it is simply unaware. So we will make them aware. We will let them know.
In our country, Nigeria, there are many girls in the little communities that we barely remember exist in the south, in the north, that are forced into marriage before the age of 18. There are girls who have been taught to imbibe the culture of silence, to never complain, to feel noble and feminine by how much pain they can endure. The fact that some of us have been privileged to have different lives doesn’t mean that the problems of those not as lucky as we are don’t exist.
On October, 11, the international day of the girl will be observed, but we will begin from today, to remember the girls we once were, the girls who are today and the girls we will have tomorrow. Over the next 100 days, we will become aware and make others same. We will break the culture of silence daily and change our society. Please join us. Let your voice become theirs. Let us save the girl child.
The countdown begins!
Photo source: www.askideas.com