Fathers day is celebrated globally to appreciate the role of fathers and father figures in shaping lives of children and the family in general.
Nevertheless, reflecting on current trends such celebrations could die in the near future.
Over the years a lot has been done to give the girl child her voice. Groups and activists have focused on empowering the girl-child achieve her potential especially in education and job market with varying results.
However, in the process of lifting the girl child the boy child has been left lagging behind.
Instead of initiating an inclusive approach that recognizes the input of both genders. boys and men have been placed sidelined in the girl-child empowerment initiatives; consequently creating imbalance in family set-up and society in general.
We now have a scenario where the girl child is excelling in education, employment opportunities as the boy-child tries to find his place in society.
Women and girls in Africa are given first priority when scholarships are awarded.Besides they are constantly mentored through rigorous initiatives that have been raised globally.
Like a success story we have all observed an extraordinary shift in the way people think about the girl child and witnessed the impeccable influence that various remarkable solutions have impacted to give her the unprecedented independence that had for so long been neglected.
Its in fact a deplorable discussion that calls are being raised to ’empower’ the boy child but if empowerment programs continue neglecting the boy child frustration may push him to join dangerous underground criminal activities.We are sitting on a time-bomb.
Sadly, the boy child has been left to choose his future and chart his own course without much guidance from the environment.He has been placed at the peripheries of the girl-child’s profound advancement leaving them excluded in addressing central issues lurking in the society.
The impact of the neglect cannot go unnoticed.In his bid to find his footing, the boy-child is now associated with vices such as drug and substance abuse, sexual abuse and dropping out of school.
We are sitting on a time bomb if empowering programs continue neglecting the boy-child.Frustration may push him to join dangerous underground criminal activities.Reports of young boys joining terror groups fill the media.
The consequent solitary focus on the empowerment of girls and women has imbalanced the scales; equaling to the now seen dominance of one gender over the other even in the basic family setting.
As much as it’s important to reach out to the girl child, let it not be at the expense of the boy child for a just society is when the two compliment each other, not when they are involved in a rat-race competition.
Both genders are fundamental to the success of any society.Boys need counselling and guidance through their passage to manhood.
Conversations of how we can support boys should start from the family level.
If we allow the boy child to continue struggling with poverty, unemployment, and dependency, not only will our country suffer economically , but we will also lose the productivity contributions of a majority of the population.
And we will pay a price.
This article was published on the People Weekend on JUNE 27-28,2015.