Nigeria: An Education In Sin

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Ghanaian scholar Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir-Aggrey was accredited for developing the well recited African Proverb that proclaims that: “If you educate a man you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman you educate a family (nation)”. It is believed that Dr. Kwegyir-Aggrey utilized this proverb as a means to convince African parents that young women should be afforded the same educational opportunities in missionary schools as to that of their male peers. Dr. Kwegyir-Aggrey’s forward-thinking premise, all but goes against the granular grain of the global concept; where as in most countries outside of the confined borders of the United States, still subscribe to the notion that a woman’s work/worth should never exceed the Stone Aged ceiling of being barefoot, pregnant and in a subordinate role to that of a man. Worldwide statistics show that young females make up over half of the population of children that are out of school, with only 30% being enrolled in secondary schooling systems. Most countries throughout the world show that females students make up only 1/3 of their universities’ entire enrollment. Due to the escalated rate of child marriages, coupled with the archaic concepts of men being considered more valuable entities to families because they are less likely to leave, all but impedes the plight of young women who wish to pursue some form of education. Just how important is it for a young girl to become educated one may ask? Well it is thought to be extremely crucial due to the transformative impact it has on emancipating and empowering the female psyche, as well as, the cumulative effect it has on communities and societies as a whole. An educated, young girl, according to studies, is three times less likely to contract H.I.V. and will also increase her wage earning potential by 10 to 20%. A girl born to an educated mother, is said to be two times more likely to live past the age of five. Studies also show a decrease in child marriages for girls who receive seven years of education, thus culminating in 2.2 fewer pregnancies and a 4 year stave off of potential marriage as well. This all but substantiates the necessity of education as it relates to the global woman. Albeit our country has its share of glass ceiling issues and sexists stigmas, the American woman is profoundly ahead of the curve to that of her global contemporaries. We now find the light of the world being shined upon the darken hoard of Nigeria, as some 200 plus young girls were kidnapped from school by the terrorist group universally known as Boko Haram. Boko Haram in its English translation means “Western Education Is Sinful”. This terrorist group was founded by the late Muslim sect leader Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf in 2002. It’s main purpose is to thwart the Westernization of areas like Nigeria and Cameroon. Their actions have resulted in an estimated death of 10,000 people and counting. Their recent abduction of the 200 plus female students, is all but one of the many horrific acts that were executed by this group since its conception, as they are also responsible for church bombings and attacks on police stations. As the world awaits what we hope is a safe return of the young ladies to their families, it is important that we gain perspective and reflect not only on the great nation we live in, but most importantly, reflect on the great opportunities afforded to our mothers, sisters, daughters and aunts. Outside of these borders of sanctuary, women exist just to exist; and it is important for women in this country to take full advantage of an opportunity not afforded to most. Be that of a great example to not only your domestic sisterhood, but also to your global sisterhood as well. You owe it to your gender pool to be more than just the framework for appeasing the masculine, sexual appetite and being reduced to just a breeding ground for sperm donations. Be of the mindset of advancement, self-esteem and elevated, conscious thinking. This gives hope to the young eyes watching around the world, while also informing men that your value is prevalent and not irrelevant. I implore you to make an indelible mark on life, as you too could educate not only a nation, but you could also educate an entire world. #girl power #bring back our girls

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