I feel sad on this day as I relate to the ordeals experienced by Memory Machaya (14) and Nokutenda Gwaramba (15). These are cases we know of because they have been publicised, many more are happening behind closed spaces and the world does not get to know. These girls’ rights are violated through statutory rape, poor antenatal care and negligence.
I feel even sadder that in this modernised world, we still have too many girls who live in the street unprotected from all forms of abuse.
Too many girls walk kilometres to access education and sadly most drop out of school due to a lack of prioritization by parents to send them to school.
Too many girls fail to realize their optimum results in school
and careers due to the burden of unpaid care work they have to shoulder.
Too many girls risk infections due to taking care of every sick or ill family member.
Too many girls are seen as brides who can be gifted to get married.
Too many girls are seen as one big homogenous group, yet
they are unique and special.
They each are like a different flower in a colourful garden blossoming and full of radiance.
Too many girls' voices are silenced in their homes.
Too many girls are abused every day.
Have we done enough? Why do we let down the girl child? What difference can we make today, every day and evermore? I am sick of injustice and yearn for a just world. I yearn for a world where our girls’ welfare is prioritised and fated for a bri
ghter future. A world where they are recognised and heard. Where they are affirmed and nurtured. Where they are respected and treated with dignity. Where they are supported and empowered. Where they are guided and guarded. Where they are simply allowed to be girls and enjoy their youthfulness. I yearn and pray for social justice, peace and more love for our girls. I commit to doing more for my girl, my daughter Buhlebenkosi and all the girls I know and come into contact with. I commit to positively influencing every girl child I am blessed to embrace and guide.
Long live our girls.
Happy International Day.
SRC Executive Director