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Equity in the Eyes of The Boy Child

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A plethora of years ago, a number of African cultures valued the boy child more and the girl child was looked at as a house help, a caregiver, and all sorts of socially constructed values and norms.

In some cases, in a house with 2 children, one male, and one female. You would find that the boy child would be sent to school as the girl child was stuck home cooking and cleaning.

This paved the way for the boy child to excel and accelerate whilst the girl child sunk into chores, caregiving and other home-based activities. At times the girl child would be forced to get married to a certain family as a way to forge a partnership or to cover generational debt. All these weird, unfair, archaic, and abusive practices resulted in the girl child lagging behind.

By the book, equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances, and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

To me, as a boy child, equity means recognizing that society has long made it easier for men to thrive. Be it in sports, the tennis world made noise as the best female tennis player was getting lesser remuneration than the male. For what gender?

Equity in the eyes of a boy child means acknowledging that gender does not limit the ability of any being. Look at Salima Mukansanga, a Rwanda woman being the first central referee ever. Did her being a referee change the way the game was officiated? Did she do anything different or did she come through and showed her worth?

To embrace equity means to open up spaces that the girl child was not exposed to. Making it easier for her to access and interact with that which she wants.

For example, female doctors per 10 000 population increased between 2000 and 2019, from 1.2 to 3.2, which remains substantially lower than the comparative rate for male doctors per 10 000 population which increased from 3.5 in 2000 to 4.7 in 2019.

In this case, equity means lowering and toning down on the requirement that the girl child needs to enter medical school. It means not using the same bar to enroll the boys and girls as we first want to reach a state of ceteris paribus [all things being equal].

Let me bring it closer home, imagine you are babysitting your two cousins, and they say they want to snack. If you were to go to the fridge and grab two oranges, this would be equal. But if one of the little cousins is allergic to oranges, you might need to grab a mango for him. That is what equity is. Both are getting fruit but they are getting fruits that speak to their lived realities. That is equity.

Equity-based solutions take into account the diverse lived experiences of individuals and communities, adapting services and policies according to these differences. Equity is a long-term and sustainable solution and is a process for addressing imbalanced social systems.
So this month, I call upon other young men and even the elderly to support the girl child. Listen to her concerns and ask her questions. We cannot change how society operates and moves if we do not unite and move as one unit. Together let us #EmbraceEquity!

Straight out of Twitter