Empowerment could be increasing the spiritual, political, social, educational, gender, or economic strength of individuals and communities.
Having done so much for the girl-child, what do we do for the boy-child, who seems to be lagging behind? I believe that it is high time we encouraged the boy-child in his education to bring a balance proportion into the country’s educated population.
This is because if women constitute 50 per cent of Uganda’s population and men the other 50 per cent, it means that we cannot exclude the contribution and participation of either gender in national development.
Over the years, emphasis has been laid on empowering the girl-child and in the process neglecting the boy-child. The issues of the boy-child vis-a-vis the girl-child in our society has largely been ignored.
This is to ascertain that while emphasis should be put on empowering the girl-child, the boy-child issues are ignored.
These emphases, however important and appropriate they may be, have led to the negligence of issues facing the boy-child. Unfortunately, when the term boy-child is brought to the fore in any forum, many people make limited mental reference to a male-child and his access to education or lack of it, or to the lower standards of education available to him when compared to the girl-child.
The boy-child, despite how society chooses to treat him, is still vulnerable. He is a child just like the girl-child, and therefore, should be handled with care. We should not sit back and assume that because he is male, the boy-child will figure his way out of problems.
A similar guidance that is given to the girl-child should also be accorded the boy-child. Children’s rights are defined in numerous ways, including a wide spectrum of civil, cultural, economic, social and political rights.
The International Day of the Girl-Child is celebrated on October 11. And as usual, Uganda will join the rest of the world to commemorate it. The main aims of the day are to promote girl’s empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges that girls all over the world face.
Brilliant, isn’t it? The question is, what is the role of the boy-child in this dream that we are chasing?
As we advocate for the girl-child education, let’s support endeavours to educate and empower the boy-child too.