Over the years, lobby groups and activists have focused on empowering the girl child achieve her potential especially in education and job market with varying results.
However in the process of lifting the girl-child, the boy child has been left lagging behind. Hence there is need to design an inclusive approach that recognizes the input of both genders. Unfortunately boys and men have been sidelined in the girl child empowerment initiatives consequently creating an imbalance in family set-up and society in general.
Nowadays the girl child is excelling in education, employment opportunities as the boy child tries to find his place in society. Women and girls in Africa are given first priority in sectors regarding their wellbeing such as education and also mentorship programs.
Sadly the boy child has been left to choose his future and chart his own course without much guidance from the environment; the impact of this neglect cannot go unnoticed. In a bid to find his footing the boy child is now associated with vices such as drug and substance abuse, sexual abuse and dropping out of school. With the current trend if empowerment programs continue neglecting the boy child, frustration may push him to join dangerous underground criminal activities.
As much as its important to reach out to the girl child it should not be at the expense of the boy child since a just society is when the two complement each other not when they are involved in a rat race competition.
Both genders are fundamental to the success of any society, boys need counselling and guidance through their passage to manhood. Conversations of how to support boys should start from the family level.
The boy child is also affected and is vulnerable facing many challenges and hurdles of life to overcome. He too requires attention and justice from the society. They are the unsung heroes.
Instability in marriage is also a contributing factor, where parents separate or divorce in most cases the absent parent especially the father chooses little or no contact with their children and this lack of contact and direction contributes to the instability of the boy child.
Empowerment of an individual means creating a society where both men and women can make choices in life based on their own abilities, preferences and circumstances.
When as the society save the boy child from all these by defending and fighting for his rights, we will save a whole generation. That boy upon growing up into a responsible man, father and husband he will mentor his generation in the same way all down his lineage.
Values and a sense of character can be effectively impressed upon a young mind through teaching, explaining and demonstrating through this we can impart to a young man the true nature of manhood.
Schools, churches and other religious institutions need to target programmes that focus on mentoring the boy child. Boys need to feel that society is ready and willing to address their needs.
In this way, we will raise a generation with less crime, violence, drug and alcohol abuse. Empowering the boy child will result in a decrease in such vices.