Girl child continues to suffer

In spite of being a signatory to almost every international convention promoting the rights of children, young girls continue to suffer as a result of cultural and economic barriers.

So-called ‘sanctions’ have been blamed for the gender inequalities.
So-called ‘sanctions’ have been blamed for the gender inequalities.

A report issued by Plan International Zimbabwe released late last year highlighted the many things that hindered the development of the girl child.

The evidence was taken from a situational analysis of Epworth Secondary School and the report was entitled, ‘Because I am a Girl’.

“For the girl child in Zimbabwe I believe their Mandela moment is on the horizon,” said Plan Country Director, Else Kragholm.

The biggest barrier impeding the progression of girls is, unfortunately, just because they are girls, Kragholm said. Other issues include religion, culture, early marriages, pregnancies and parental control.

In interviews with journalists in Marondera while celebrating Martin Luther King Jnr Day, United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe decried the fact that politicians blamed everything on so-called ‘sanctions’.

“People have taken advantage of the existence of targeted measures by blaming them for their shortcoming,” he said.

Women, Gender and Community development Minister Dr Olivia Muchena, who was guest of honour at the Plan International launch, attributed the statistics contained in the report to sanctions.

“The problem is you people do not want to talk about the sanctions and economic hardships that force families to choose between sending a boy or girl to school,” she said.

The Plan Zimbabwe research revealed that: “Of those polled, 19 percent of female respondents had dropped out of school with 33 percent of these having dropped out at primary level and 67 percent at secondary level.

Of those who managed to get to secondary level, only 60 percent made it to Ordinary level compared with a 90 percent completion rate for the boy child.”

The fact that the country’s political leadership seems powerless to stop cultural and religious practices that continue to impede the progress of the girl child is worrying.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *