Written by- Aboderin Adeola, Girl Advocate
I am Camilla, the only female child amidst three male siblings. Being given birth to in a family full of boys has been very challenging. My mother who upheld the esteemed principles of education passed away and ever since then, things changed drastically for me, my father saw no reason in sending me to school anymore, he stopped me from going to school with bold claims that I can't amount to anything tangible and reasonable even with the aid of a standard education. I began to question how he came about that assumption and he blurted out his answer to my questions as to why he wouldn't allow me further my education, and it was that "I'm a FEMALE CHILD and my core responsibility ends at playing the role of a wife, a mother and a custodian of my kitchen...." it was saddening to hear.
On the other hand, my brothers attended prestigious schools and I was subjected to carrying the heavy burden of farming and house keeping. This was the preferential treatment given to my brothers and the denial of access to an education for me.
I was so bitter that I allowed depression to set in and I began to lose hope about life entirely, wild questions ran through my mind. I craved for a soothing answer but I was all alone in my world cause there was no one to share my pains with. I became a crazy nerve wrecker, a wayward firecracker, I didn't stop dreaming about how I could be exposed to the illuminations of education. I hungered and thirsted after education but I wasn't filled...That was how terrible it was!
Worse became worst, my father handed me over to an Alhaji sheriff, after a marriage proposal at the age of seventeen...It was then I was introduced to a polygamous family. Considering that I was the youngest among his eight wives, I was left with no choice but to comply cause I was seen as feeble and fragile but I knew I wasn't. I knew I wasn't a weakling, just a voiceless soul who had no one to come to my aid.
My life became even more reckless, full of woes and regrets, my dreams, hopes and aspirations were continuously shattered right in my face due to lack of education to stand and defend my right to quality education and freedom from forceful marriage.
Up till this moment, I battled depression cause I continuously shut everyone out of my life including my own family. The pain remains fresh and the scar isn't temporary.
I shared my story because I still crave change in my society, female children should be given equal access to education and early marriage should be outlawed.
Let us put aside every reason why this resolution can't work but focus on that ONE reason why it should work
Image source: Pixabay