When one hears the word emancipation’ the first thing that comes to their mind is women emancipation. One may think the two words are inseparable.
Well-done to everyone who is making an effort to empower a girl child/woman. However, if we don’t do the same for boys, we are likely to continue having an imbalanced society.
Just take a look at your surrounding community! Many men have completely abdicated their responsibilities! In my neighbourhood, most of them gather around in groups till late, when you visit homes, women have given up and taken full responsibility of their homes. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 30 per cent of households are headed by women. Unfortunately, it is not that most of the men are deceased. As the society is busy grooming and concentrating on raising an empowered girl child, who is empowering our boys?
Are we making any efforts to groom boys/men? Are we raising men empowered enough to live holistically and coexist peacefully with the empowered girls/women?
Men also face barriers that equally need to be broken. We live in a patriarchal and hierarchical society. And as a result, some people think that men cannot be victims. Sadly, there are many occasions where men have been defeated by their own vulnerabilities, which often leads to a range of mental health problems, or even worse, suicide. While women are gradually climbing the ranks, a growing number of men seem to be losing their motivation.
Men deserve a safe space to talk about their frustrations as well as opportunities for networking . Young people need to be paired with caring adult mentors.
Youth who perceive that they have support from adults in their lives develop positive personal qualities, such as life skills, problem-solving skills, and social skills, that allow them to thrive even in the most difficult life situations and the toughest environments. Mentoring is one way to help young people know that adults care about them.
Studies have found that youth with mentors often feel better about themselves and are less likely to use drugs. When one talks of mentorship, it might sound like an uptown kind of a thing, but this can be done anywhere and for everyone.
There is urgent need to strengthen family support through school-based programmes or therapy. Parents also need to be equipped with skills to raise their children with fair discipline and adequate supervision.
Carol Nyangoma Mukisa, Social analyst