International Day for Women is unlike any other day set aside to mark historic events or raise consciousness over pertinent issues, this day is unique for what it represents for humanity.
Females remain an endangered species in many parts of the world. A combination of cultural, religious and societal norms and practices have continued to stifle and limit the growth and development of girls. Additionally, the inaction by several Governments and the outright negligence of several issues concerning girls has further complicated issues. Young girls are continuously subjected to dehumanizing conditions in several climes and this day presents an opportunity to chart a new course.
There are several reasons why every society must endeavour to educate, enlighten and empower the girls. The most important reason is simply because it is the right thing to do. It is morally, logically and politically right to do so. An educated girl is a beacon of hope and a primary source of social stability. We must never forget the obvious fact that families form the bedrock of societies and if the builders themselves are ill-equipped to execute the demands of nursing and nurturing, we are headed towards a broken system.
Failure to cater to the needs of girls is a deliberate attempt to stagnate the progress of over half the population of any society. Women make up about 52 % of the global population and these figures cut across several countries. One of the major differences between developed and developing nations is the capacity of well educated and exposed women to contribute to the workforce and society in the former but sadly missing in the latter. You can’t shut out a majority of the people and expect to make meaningful progress.
An investment in females is a superb and risk free investment. All societies that have summoned courage and put their faith towards this noble objective are far better off. At a time when the men and their economic policies have plunged the world into disarray, the women have stepped up. Angela Merkel (German Chancellor) has stopped the slide in Europe and the continent is better off than it was a few years. Christine Lagarde is leading the IMF with panache and prudence. President Obama recently nominated Janet Yellen as Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank. That makes her the most powerful woman in the world at least as far as economic matters are concerned. Hillary Clinton ( Former Secretary of State), Janet Napolitano ( Former Homeland Security Chief) and Susan Rice ( National Security Adviser) have driven policies in a male dominated field that have made America safer and less despised compared to when the men held sway.
In Africa, Presidents Banda and Sirleaf-Johnson continue to grow the economies of their respective countries. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is an astute economist and her credentials are impeccable. She hasn’t been as effective in her second coming because she has practiced more politics instead of people focused economic policies. Nevertheless, no one can question her ability to do the job.
Dilma Rousseff has continued the good legacies of her predecessor in Braziland her steady leadership has ensured that her country has overtaken the United Kingdom in some economic indices and in the process further cementing Brazil’s position as a true emerging power. Christina Fernandez de Kirchner has overseen massive economic growth and political stability in Argentina. She has put her country in the forefront of South American politics and Argentina is on the path of greatness again after years of corruption and poor governance.
We can all make our societies better by ensuring we tackle the evils affecting females in our own little way. Some of these include Genital mutilation, Child Marriage, Lack of Diligent Prosecution of Rape cases and lack of focus on peculiar feminine issues.
Let’s all stand firm against inhumanity against girls. No girl should be allowed to become a mother whilst she is still a child. No man should have peace after defiling a girl and the authorities should make special provisions for girls as they mature into womanhood. It’s a complicated process that makes or mars a woman’s future.
Let’s celebrate the girls today and make commitments to ensure that they grow up to become what they can be: mothers, champions and leaders.
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