Updated: Sep 16, 2021
A rise in the movements and campaigns which aim at promoting equality by targeting girls is being perceived as a threat to the boy child. Most people, especially men think that all focus is placed on the girl when that shouldn’t be the case. They have expressed fear that the boy child is being neglected at the expense of promoting equality.
People have expressed concerns over the fact that most organizations target girls in schools, the community and other spheres. For instance, there are several school programs which provide financial support to girls. Most of these programs seem to undermine the fact that both boys and girls are affected by poverty and other societal issues. The girl child is considered vulnerable and weak thus is given more attention, resources and protection than the boy child who is in the same circumstances.
New words and phrases have been added to our vocabulary, for instance “when you educate a girl child you educate the whole village/nation” what happens when you educate a boy child,most importantly, what happens when you educate both a girl child and boy child?same isn’t said about the boy child. Boys also face several challenges in the society. Why then are their challenges being ignored in the name of fighting inequality. With the way things are, people have a right to be scared for the boy child, who is there but is in the shadows. If our approach to achieving equality is ignoring the other gender, won’t we be in the same situation we were in with the girls several years ago?
To some extent, it is worrisome that this exclusion of the boy child will eventually affect the goal of achieving equality between the sexes. Some people have expressed their fears that this neglected boy child may grow up to become a danger and disrupt all the efforts at achieving equality. When we are teaching our girls about teenage pregnancies, early marriages, safe sex, equality, patriarchy, our boys need to be present as well. The boy child has to be treated as an ally and not an enemy.
However, these concerns have been dismissed by another group of people who think these concerns are coming in from a patriarchal mentality. More research has to be done if what people think is really the situation on the ground. There should be a difference between fighting for equality and fighting against one gender. This world we are creating for our girls, will be shared with the boys too. Boys should be recognized in the fight against inequality. If we are to win this war against inequality, we must join arms with the boys.
Gender equality requires that policies and action target challenges faced by both sexes, and not ignore one gender. Most of these challenges are common to both boys and girls, sometimes they may be different yes, but the challenges are there.