October 11th was celebrated worldwide as the International Day of the Girl Child and this year’s theme is ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’. I have read a number of articles of all kinds of issues that plague the girl child all over the world. There is so much the girl child has to surmount to live her best life.

I am particularly concerned because I have three daughters. They are all entering into adulthood and I realize I can no longer really protect them from these issues. They are getting to the stages of their lives when they have to face the world and demand what they want despite the prejudices and vagaries of life that may be working against them. ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’

As parents, my husband and I have done what we can. We provided a safe home for them over the years-no molestation, rape or insecurity as compared to what could happen if they were in unsafe zones. We enrolled them in schools where we believed they were less likely to be sexually harassed by teachers/lecturers. We made adequate provision and have not denied them any privilege which their brother has got based on their sex. I believe we have really tried to be fair.

When I think of my daughters, I recall that before I started having children, I wanted one son and then daughters. If I had 10 children, it would have been one son and nine daughters. In fact, my desire to have daughters was so strong, that when the doctors announced my son’s sex, I burst into tears. I did not know what I would do with a male child. I had wanted a daughter so badly.

Eventually, three of them came, lovely and beautiful, each with her personality. Over the years, I have had to deal with menstrual cycles, bras, underwear, jewellery, fashion, makeup, school work, boys lurking in the background, the list is endless. But I have loved and appreciated every minute of it, even the difficult ones.

We have taught them a whole lot. I am old school, so I taught them to keep the house. However, I would not say that is my greatest legacy to them. I would say the most important is to show them the way to the Father. That, for me, is critical.

Why do I say so? As He holds their hands, He will enable them to rise above the different issues life will throw at them simply because they are girls. ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’ Because of their relationship with the Father, they respect their womanhood. In fact, they cherish it. They have the God-given confidence to preserve who they are and yet demand whatever is rightfully theirs. They have even been able to see past religious biases and

conclusions that are not of the Father. That, for me, is critical for every female child. ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’

As parents, there is just how much we can do for our daughters as much as we love them. However, we must adequately equip them to recognize and reject all stereotypes that diminish or attempt to make them defensive of who they are as women.

In scriptures, there were these five sisters: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Micah and Tirzah, daughters of Zelophehad. They did not have a brother. Their father died and the family was set to deny them of their inheritance simply because they were daughters. They dared to speak up. They went to Moses and made a case for their inheritance. And guess what, God ratified it. The law was changed.

I sincerely believe that as we keep raising our daughters to appreciate their womanhood, they will preserve it and teach their daughters to do the same. That is when we can say as women, ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’.

We live in a fallen world and the biggest victim of that fall is the woman. However, we have been redeemed, reconciled and fully restored in status with the Father. We have divine backing to simply reject whatever is thrown at us that does not conform to what we believe to be fair. We must teach our daughters to say no. ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’.

Their voices must count. ‘My Voice, Our Equal Future’. In it all, I simply love mothering daughters. It’s an amazing experience.  If you have daughters, I am sure you agree. CK