#WinterABC2020 #day5 #afrobloggerswinterchallenge
The phenomenon of poverty once set creates a momentum that perpetuates itself like a well tooled industry complete with resources that ensure that it never dies but rather thrives.It is so deeply entrenched that only a deliberate injunction can dismantle its shackles. The momentum is the cycle and like the symbol of marriage it is a ring that has no qualified entry point and those who seek to dismantle its power must find a tenacious willingness not privy to common tactics and stategies. As a Social Entrepreneur l have observed commonalities in rural poverty amongst girls and women across the spectrum that needs systematic dismantling and without such an approach it becomes difficult to unhinge. In this particular narrative l do not seek to dwell on the nature of the poverty circle but rather on how to dismantle the structures.
I use the word structures here because poverty is an institution built by years of being and one should never assume to want to dismantle it by piecemeal strategies -it also needs an attack on its pillars. My assertion is that rural poverty in the life of girls is perpetuated by patriarchy-the dominance of decision making and resource allocation by men and boys for men and boys. Girls and women neither have the power or resources to break the chains of poverty and ironically the only way to truly break the cycle is to find power from those who seem to perpetuate its hold. Imagine asking for space at the decision making table from those at the table who do not wish to create the space-that is patriarchy.
The one attribute of patriarchy is that it is perpetuated by a class whose education base is very limited and l say this not in an unkind manner but to delineate those who are enablers of patriarchy but also complicit in its use. The one way thus of fighting this patriarchy hence fighting poverty is to educate the girl child both academically and metaphorically. Dollars and resources must be poured in vast amounts in the life of girls ensuring a robust transition from an early age by changing the narrative right at birth. The offence that society in this case men felt at the Beijing Conference was not that women were demanding an equal share at the decision making table but also that they could dare question the status core. How dare women do that ? Question their very place ? Education and its benefits thereof creates the ability in women and girls to question the status quo.It creates the foundation for knowledge building and the narrative can begin to change as women and girls begin to know their rights.
The maternal nature of women and girls make this population the best candidates for inserting a human rights based approach to decision making. One only has to see the disasters that came out from governments dominated by men only on the podium. The more the number of men gathered around the table the higher the body bags at the morgues. Here men must read carefully-no one is saying do not be at the decision making apex but rather share the burden. One of the reasons menstruation hygiene is still a challenge in rural areas is simply that it is limited to the biology of women and girls. Even still the high mortality rate of pregnant women and girls in the service of child bearing is also because it is very much a biological problem befalling women and girls-had the tables been turned with men and boys oozing quantifiable liquid from their manhood we would see a revolution to period poverty. If only men and boys could carry their offspring in their bellies and not in their loins surely the high mortality rate at child bearing in rural communities would be next to zero but alas it is not to be.
Patriachy must be thus dismantled by education so as to ensure the chains of poverty are broken.Patriachy encourages violence and fosters it creating the conditions for it to breath. You are beaten out of your wits by your own brother , father or partner and when you stomach enough courage to report you are confronted by a men manning the post using rules and regulations established by men with pot bellies and should you somehow manage to have your issue to the courts are faced by a judiciary frothing with patriarchy.
I put it to you therefore that if there is a chance of dismantling poverty in the life of rural girls it is must be centered first on dismantling patriachy by investing in the education of the rural girl child.