Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is a child a child?

This is a very easy question and one can answer very fast. A child is a child so what!

Come to think of it as an African, first we value children so much; secondly we value the boy child more than the girl child.

I have always complained that the woman has been on the receiving end of human rights abuse and cultural practices. Those who believe in women’s cause also support this. However when it comes to the choice of a child we want, women are also to blame.

Most people especially in Africa, Middle East and Asia believe they are not complete without a boy child in the family. A woman will feel depressed if she gets a girl for a first child and will feel even worse when she gets more girls.

We do not appreciate the fact that at least we got a baby and someone else is unable to get even one. African traditions and some other cultures in the world have always looked at the girl child as a lesser child. Women have also contributed to this because of our attitude.

I can imagine if women in the old days would have stood their ground (like the enlightened women of today) and told men. I have given birth to 5 girls am tired, I will not get anymore you can get the boy yourself or marry another wife to get you the boy you want so much.

However this was not possible because the woman felt bad about having girls only, the men would send the women away or marry another wife. This still happens in the modern world.

One thing that people should know is that the girl child is also important in the family and the society. She helps a lot in house chores more than the boys; she is naturally created to be motherly to her siblings. She is more helpful to her parents in the home and even after leaving the home to get married or stay on her own. When the boy turns to a man and marries, very few help their parents.

I say this because I come from a family with many girls, my wonderful mother did not give up until she got our only brother the last born, when she was nearly reaching menopause. Thank God for my principled father because he never married another woman or chase her away. He liked us so much and would go everywhere he could with us.

Some relatives from my father’s side despised my mother. This is very typical of cultures that believe so much in the boy child. Fortunately I had God-fearing grandparents who understood the fact that children come from God. No one chooses what child they want. Some of those relatives now admire this family of many girls.

Though medical technology has improved to help parents make a choice. All I can say they are not a 100% accurate. When I was expecting I would browse baby sites, my favorite is Baby Center on my links (by the way there no such Kenyan websites). I read all kinds of myth because my scan did not show the kind of baby I had (though I wanted to know about the well being of the baby more than the sex). I also read so many stories from women on the baby sites who wanted a certain child. There were those who wanted girls and those who wanted boys depending on the child they had, but most of them wanted boys as a first child.

For now I can easily say a child is a child because am blessed with both sexes, but for somebody else this can be a disturbing question to answer.


luke said...

I've always wondered at what point culture comes into conflict with modern thinking&way of life; i think this generation X born around the late 80s and 90s will experience this conflict the most
apart from many not being able to speak their mother tongues well or at all in some cases,(will mother tongue be swallowed up by sheng or English?), they also despise some of the many cultural beliefs their parents still hold onto and would not want to inherit such ideas for example many will consider a child a blessing regardless of gender, and if indeed the whole offspring turn out to be female, it would still remain a blessing

I guess times are changing cultures?maybe/maybe not, but either way i am one of such generationXers

Ssembonge said...

Before I became a father I had hoped for at least one son. Today I don't hold such views. I have come to view children as children. Whether its a boy or girl, its pointless.

You'd be suprised that even in the US, boys are still more 'valued'. A colleague of mine just gave birth to her second girl and she said they will 'try' for a boy.

Meet black singles said...

I think times have changed and nobody has time for the boy child. It is now all about the girl child. Am not complaining. It is good to see women enjoying their moment in the sunshine.