May 16th of each year has been observed as International Day of the Boy Child. This is a day dedicated for the whole world to focus on boys and their wellbeing. The goal is to achieve true gender-equality in the world.The International Day of the Boy Child was inaugurated in 2018 by Jerome Teelucksingh, Ph.D (a thought leader on gender issues and founder of International Men’s Day).
Most of us are aware that the United Nations marks October 11th of each year as “International Day of the Girl Child“ since 2012; but, most are not aware that there is a day marked for advocating for, and creating awareness on issues surrounding the wellbeing and development of the boy child. Neither of the gender should be left behind.Balance is everything!
A Mother’s Love Initiative (AMLi – a social change initiative that campaigns for the overall wellbeing of the African child) has observed that the girl child receives so much attention such that the boy child is now subtly neglected and fallen among endangered species on planet earth.
Today, the boy child is fast becoming invisible because the society assumes that they are invincible. So, they are taught to mask their pains, as their tears must not be seen, because showing their pains is a sign of weakness. They are taught to be tough: “Boys don’t cry!”, so they end up bottling their emotions.
The boy child fields myriads of societal pressures. There is a social but subtle bias against the boy child. Disputes between a boy child and a girl child will invariably be settled in favour of the girl child. Such stereotypes reflect the various degrees of onslaught of trauma meted out daily on the boy child by the society. These have adverse effects on the psycho social balance and development of the boy child. If we do not fix these anomalies and reverse the imbalance now, these young ones may turn abusive in the future.
We at A Mother’s Love initiative therefore callupon all and sundry, parents, teachers, civil society organizations, all levels of government, and other stakeholders in the Nigerian and African space, to lend a voice against theunfair balance and growing neglect of the boy child, and to create more platforms and resources that will promote the interests and total wellbeing of the boy child, and salvage their fast waning posture and position in the society.
Remember, Children are the future! Today’s boys are tomorrow’s dads! They are the leaders we’ll have tomorrow. Let us all join hands to protect the boy child, and preserve the future of Africa.
Hanatu A. Enwemadu, Esq.
(Head, External Relations)