The women folk, the girl child, the female, are more vulnerable in terms of their survival livelihood compared to men. And, therefore, education to the girl child is critical. This is because it brings in enlightenment and knowledge. Knowledge about being aware of themselves, their bodies, for instance. That to me is the beginning.
If they have knowledge about sexuality, they have knowledge about menstruation, they have knowledge when they can be pregnant. This is an important resilience that can enable them to have a better life.
To the girl child education should even be considered more paramount. For instance, apart from making them more resilient, education gives them empowerment. Empowerment in the sense of giving them avenues for employer-ability and for creativity; because then even if they are not employed, you can be able to innovate. You can be able to look for ways in which you can do things differently.
And so to me, there is no doubt that to the girl child education is so important. For instance now, in Makerere Medical School and in many universities in the world, we are beginning to see more girls educated and becoming doctors, more than the boys. And this is also because girls can be very focused and as a result, they can also do a better job. Again, that is another way we see the value of education.
When they understand it from the beginning, they are so focused, more sometimes than the boy child who can be distracted. So, for me, education and the girl child, enables them to be able to live a life on their own in a better way when they are educated than if they are not educated; whether they are employed or not.
We have seen that in many settings, for instance, several projects in communities, if you give women, for example, if you give them two hundred thousand shillings, they are able to apply these funds better than if you give it to men. For me, this is still testament that education is critical and very important and can make the female folk, the girl child a better agent.
About the Author: Professor Dr. Christopher Garimoi Orach is the Board Chair of CPAR Uganda. He expressed his views, herein contained, during an interview with Mr. Philip Luswata, on Friday, 16th April 2021 at the CPAR Uganda Lira Learning Centre. Prof. Orach is a professor of public health at Makerere University School of Public Health, where he has been working for many years – including being the Deputy Dean; Head of Department of the Department of Community Outreach and Behavioural Sciences; actively involved in several research activities; and he teaches.