At this years International Women’s Day, the plight of women continued to dominate headlines throughout the world with a number of girls acting as prey to the ever present sex jackals who promise them heaven and earth before devouring and leave them to tarry with their off springs which they will never claim to be theirs.
Girls are therefore suffering the ignominy of having a ”fatherless” child which is an unfathomable phenomenon in biology which states that a child is a product of 23 chromosomes from both the mother and the father.
During the wake of covid-19 lockdown, Manicaland recorded a massive number of girl child who got impregnated by men and in some instances boys putting the blame to girls instead of blaming the society as a whole.
An elderly women from Chipinge in Chipangaya, mbuya Mutonga Gapara, said the precarious financial situation that families find themselves in, most mothers send their girl children to move from place to place as vendors and that places them in uncompromising positions where they meet males of various persuasions resulting in girls being tempted into a sexual liaison and terribly consequences may occur.
”It is not uncommon for mothers to send their teenage children to go and sell various wares without reflecting on the results. Admittedly, when they do send the girls, they are teaching them to be self-reliant but at what cost?”
However, age old practices continue to haunt the girl child in that if a sibling is involved in murderer, the onus is on the girl child to be used as a sacrificial lamb to appease the avenging spirit although some people still believe this to be an archaic tradition, the practice is still rampant among those who believe in indigenous traditional religion as some girls leave their homes at a tender age and are forced to stay with relatives of the deceased.
As girls grow older they begin to befriend members of the opposite sex and that is when they would realize that they are not in the same class as their counterparts because they are then forced to be married by one of the boys even out of their own will.
Talking to Vaida, one of the girls who fall in the scam said she was destined to be married by a 62 year old man who was a brother to the deceased as she describes the practice to be offensive and disgraceful.
These days there are subtle, they entice you to be married by one of the boys coming from South Africa with goodies and many girls are getting hooked because by the time they wake up they would be pregnant.”
Zimbabwe has a number of women who have made it in their academics and business ladder including the female politicians who have made inroads in changing the lives of many people, it is therefore in the interest of the young women to aspire to be role models for the other teenagers that getting married is not of their best interests.
Some time ago in 1989, the late wordsmith, Paul Matavire, summed it up in one of his popular songs, ‘Ma U’, as he sang, ”love ne education hazvifambirane” (you cannot do well in education while you are knee deep in love as a teenager.” It was a clarion call for girls to join in the bandwagon of being part of the global village by taking their education seriously and becoming billionaires in their own right.
It is no longer a preserve of the male gender for one to be an engineer, medical doctor, pilot and all those fancy job descriptions after covid-19 induced lockdown claiming a number of girls even though the government has put up a policy that girls not withstanding their being pregnant or suckling their young, should go to school and finish their schooling.
Education officials and the development partners should lead the charge in cajoling those girls to go back to school.