Much is being done and said about the girl child.
She has drawn so much attention from the society and numerous campaigns have been held on her behalf as well.
Her voice has been heard, her fears unravelled with enormous momentum, and almost everyone has come to her liberation.
The support that the girl child has drawn from the society has truly brought a positive impact in her life, as she has been educated and made independent.
The society has given the girl child immense opportunities to improve her life.
But the sticky question is: What about the boy child?
The boy child has been neglected of late; he does not seem to be recognised as an essential being. The boy has been given little or no voice. His concerns remain unknown and untold.
He is scarcely being empowered and the campaigns are not being held on his behalf.
Is the society aware of the challenges he is facing or his fears and aspirations? What about the consequences of this societal neglect?
The boy child is hastily suffocating due to the societal focus on the girl child.
When the boy child continues to be neglected there is a possibility that he may resort to irresponsible actions.
To deal with his frustrations, the boy child may resort to alcoholism, smoking, drug abusive and risky sexual activities.
In extreme circumstances, the boy child may indulge in heinous crimes and terrorise his community.
Have we ever thought of the source of child crimes in our communities? The boy child seems to find solace in these things, but still the society ignores all this in the name of the old maxim: ‘Boys will always be Boys’.
Has the boy child been taught how to deal with his frustrations responsibly?
Unlike the girl, the boy child has been left to chart his own future without any or much guidance from the rest of our society.
He has not been given the same opportunity when it comes to scholarships and employment. The girl child is the preferred one.
The boy is left to define his own place in the society without any direction and/or empowerment.
Some boys have dropped out of school because they were not supported in any way. Others thought that there is no place for them in the society since everything is about girls.
Some boys have survived the ordeal to get to where they are now.
Think about two children coming from the same house, a girl preferred and given much attention than the boy, what will become of the boy?
Does he have to quit or survive to get at the top?
The boy child is also a child like a girl. He deserves to be treated equally.
Boys and girls are leaders of the next generation. We do not have to create a rat race between the two genders.
We do not have to diminish one and favour the other. Move a step closer to the boy child, lend him your ears and make his voice heard.
A child is a child. Let’s not endanger the boy child. As much as affirmative action is a necessary action in ensuring the protection of rights of women and girls, the same should not be used to diminish the boy child into oblivion. When girls are being empowered, boys should also be empowered.
To empower a boy child is also to empower the girl child. Boys that have been educated, for instance, are likely to protect the girls closely connected to their social ties.