IMPACT OF DISCRIMINATION ON EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
Written by~ Victoria Olanrewaju Benedict, Girl Advocate
Discrimination is an act of making an unfavourable distinction for a being based on the group, class, gender or category to which they are perceived to belong.
Discrimination happens everywhere in our daily lives. Women and girls face discrimination at every level and this is due to their gender, cultural norms, different value systems, fear of the unknown,ethnicities, backgrounds, fear of helplessness, and lot more.These are not the only causes, but they are some reasons that some people hate. Understanding why specific groups hate can help in trying to dismantle that hatred.
Discrimination can result in anxiety, sadness, depression and a feeling of guilt and emptiness, where women and girls are feeling less important and less valued, they don't see the need to participate in activities concerning the society, since they feel it won't be appreciated. Discrimination often translate into depression, loss of interest, as i have explained, eating disorder, other stress related ailments and it leaves the individual broken and confused.
Experiences of discrimination at vulnerable age can negatively affect personal development, academic trajectories and limit the emotional benefits of early childhood education. Children who experience discrimination feel less than other children, these experiences also impacts their feeling of belonging and also how they see their identity. These children also tend to have low self esteem, lower self-belief or self-worth, they feel powerless and frustrated and have reduced aspirations, therefore as they are growing, they don't make anything of themselves.
Avoiding discrimination doesn't make it stop or reduce. To overcome discrimination, don't pretend it isn't happening, seek advice, take actions, people should take accusation seriously, as women and girls embrace your strength and beauty, celebrate your identity and learn how to cope. A performance coach and inspirational leader once told me that, in this life you have to learn resilience and you also need bullet proof jacket, so that when people make negative comments and spread rumors about what doesn't exist,you must be able to receive these things as bullets, but your ability to withstand the pressure and keep your head high will build up your confidence and do great exploits.
If we all put our heads together we can overcome discrimination, if we also realise that the discrimination we receive doesn't describe who we are and we do not let it affect our feelings of self worth. Taking steps to stop it not only shows how strong we really are, but may prevent the discrimination from happening to someone else.