The effects of raising girls and boys differently
As the importance of highlighting empowerment to the girl child is being heavily circulated, it is imperative to examine the differences in how a girl child and boy child are raised. While girls are usually raised to mind household affairs such as cooking and cleaning and even caring for younger siblings more than her male siblings, boys oftentimes are not permitted to express certain emotions of vulnerability – a major difference in raising boys and girls. This does lead to patterns of self-restraint, lack of self-discovery and super self-consciousness in girls, and a general lack of confidence to pursue innate desires in career and life in general.
In some rural parts of the world, a girl’s future can be compromised due to the economic gains a family have by marrying her off while she is still a girl. One in four girls gets married as a child. This sets her on a vicious cycle of dependency and can make her economically dependent for a lifetime. Economic empowerment can be achieved through various ways such as increasing women and girls’ education ad by teaching our girls that they are not dependents but contributors to the household income and national GDP. 200 million fewer women have access to the internet than men. In Sub-Saharan Africa, women are almost half as likely as men to be online.
Eliminating the vicious cycle of economic dependency of girls/ women can also be done by providing girls with technology access and computer skill training as increasing internet connectivity leads to a $21 return on investment for every dollar spent, and giving internet access to women could contribute between $13-18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.
In some households today, a boy’s education is prioritized over his sister’s. Currently, 130 million girls are out of school. Education has direct correlation with population growth. Educating girls and women would reduce the strains on the planet, caused by the persistent population growth. In Sub Saharan Africa, women with secondary education on average have three fewer children than those with no education at all. A study found that each year of education of women correlated with a decrease of child mortality by 9.5% so educating a girl child would help to prevent future child mortality.
Lack of equal access to educational pursuits and opportunities can make girls feel less secure in their pursuits. From unequal pay to potential employers inquiring of a young woman’s marital status and whether she has children, all make women in the job market less-confident in the hiring process. Vulnerabilities in Nigeria and being a single woman in the job market can potential cause sexual harassment and also lower wages when an employer judges that a single woman with no children doesn’t deserve as much pay as a married woman with children and even less than a male counterpart.
Women make 30-50% less than men worldwide. When raising young children, we must instil in them that all opportunities are indeed for their taking, and that it is boldness and confidence in their own abilities that fuels success when faced with outside challenges that can hinder personal and professional growth.
Human Rights protections
It is important to raise girls with a sense of self- occupancy meaning she should always have a sincere sense of self and that she belongs to herself first and is aware of her human rights of protection over her own body. This is especially significant because every five minutes, a girl dies as a result of violence and 71% of human trafficking victims are female. Because of lack of protection and females being a vulnerable group, girls and women are sexually assaulted at higher rates than boys and men. This leads to the fact that girls are twice as likely to become infected with HIV.
When proper educational skills, training and economic empowerment is given to the girl child, she is able to access quality and decent paid work, invest in property, assets, and financial services, and ultimately enhance a collective action of leadership and social protection.
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