When setting up girls' empowerment plans, remember the boys

Empowering girls more means they will be more knowledgeable, compared to the boys.

For equality, while empowering girls, empower boys too. Boys are suffering like girls and they need equal chances to succeed. It’s easier to understand that women and girls have more avenues to express themselves while men and boys battle depression.

This is what has been happening in the past when girls were empowered and boys forgotten. The boys often feel left out.

Since they are not given that opportunity to express themselves like girls, their lives become more difficult, which may explain why more men/boys are committing suicide.

Boys would rather keep quiet about the problems they are going through and that’s why depression is rampant among them.

A lot of boys are sexually assaulted but those in authority ignore them. For example, when a boy is sodomised the matter is even considered untrue but in the case of a girl, actions are taken promptly.

Boys are human too and they deserve a right to fair treatment. In society today, when an older man is found guilty of rape the matter is taken seriously, but when an older woman has intercourse with a boy, the matter is treated relatively lightly.

This notion of empowering girls more than the boys should be looked into.

Both genders deserve equal chances. It’s also absurd that the matter comes up during job interviews where organisations will say that women are especially encouraged to apply.

Even though both are qualified, the men will certainly feel disadvantaged.

It is indeed factual that the women fought hard to occupy the space they do today. It is unfortunate that the process has meant the boys are left behind.

For a better and balanced society, both genders’ access to equal rights and opportunities ought to be accelerated at the same pace.

Letter from Shaline Jeruto.