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Message to Girls to mark International Day of the Girl Child 2021

Today is the #InternationalDayoftheGirl2021. This year’s Theme is Step Outside The Box: Learning Free From Stereotypes.

A message for girls out there!

Shirley Chisholm said, “Tremendous amounts of talent are lost to our society just because that talent wears a skirt.”

Welcome to another edition of the International Day of the girl. This year’s theme is Step outside the gender box: Learning free from stereotypes.

For far too long, we have been lied to. We have been told: You can’t learn this. You can’t understand this. We have been made to believe that certain bodies of knowledge are too difficult for us to learn because we are females. In Nigeria, some people use words like “Your brain is not strong enough” or “Your brain is light” and so will mock and even dissuade you when you try to learn things like tech, maths or science.

Because of these lies, some of us have held back. Lots of us have traded our dreams and aspirations for what we never wanted because we’ve been told that the ones we had were reserved for boys. It got so bad that we started to think that all the seats of leadership were taken before we even got to the table.

But not anymore. We are the generation of girls who are saying no to these lies! We will learn what we want to learn regardless of what society thinks. We refuse to be restricted, limited, defined by a box. And I say why do you need that tiny tight gender box, a lot of us can’t fit into that gender box so we don’t need it anyways. A cage limits, a box inhibits. If you conform to that gender box, that gender box will rob you off your uniqueness.

We choose to maximize potentials and build capacity. With loud voices reverberating the entire universe, we are saying that this digital generation is our generation! We will not be left behind.

So, girl, get up! Stop letting people prevent you from learning what you want. Stop letting people decide what you should and shouldn’t know. Stop letting people box you with gender.

It is time you stepped outside the gender box and learn free of stereotypes. The world needs you now. Imagine how much you can know. Imagine how what you know can change the world. Imagine how much you can contribute when you learn as much as possible. You’ll be the asset we’re lucky to have.

Enough of holding back. Enough of acting like you don’t deserve to learn. Enough of hiding behind gender to remain ignorant. Enough is enough. Shut down the voice of stereotypes. Step out of that box and get into that course. Read that book. Take that class. And let what you can learn amaze you!

I am Roseline Adewuyi and together we will shatter the gender box and learn free from stereotypes.

Adewuyi Roseline is passionate about the girl child. Growing up, she had a lot of questions about her identity. She is on the journey to ensure that young girls rise above limitations, smash stereotypes in their communities.

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