A Girl in Ghana
Are girls treated as equal to boys? Young Students share their thoughts.
Photo : Kirsty Telfer
Students at Mother Teresa School, Senya Beraku, write about what it’s like being a girl in Ghana.
By Mary Obo
To be a girl in Ghana is very interesting but unfortunately we are not treated the same as boys.In many Ghanaian homes, girls are treated badly compared to the boys. In the Olden days, parents would happily let their sons go the school while their daughters stayed in the house working because it was believed the kitchen was the place for girls to be. When girls wake up before school or when they return home from school, they have to do all the chores in the house, like sweeping the room and/or the compound, fetching water and cooking food, washing the utensils etc. This all happens while the boys of the family get the chance to play, watch television or have fun with friends.
People used to say that when a boy grew up and became rich, he would forget his family and not bring them anything. But if a girl grew up and got married and was given things by her husband, she would then help her family. This practice has brought many effects to the country, for example, some boys do not have respect for girls and believe it is their job to serve them.
I think girls should be given the same opportunities as boys when it comes to education and girls should be encouraged to study to the highest level of education. As the African saying goes, ‘If you educate a boy you educate a man but if you educate a girl you educate the whole nation.’
By Dorcas Amoh
In Ghana, girls are normally said to be in lower positions than any other persons in society. Therefore, the government has to ensure girls have the same access to education as boys. Free education needs to be provided, and school items such as uniforms, books etc. should be provided for the girls who need them the most. In order to avoid early motherhood to limit the population growth in Ghana, girls are treated differently to boys. People normally say that boys should be in school and girls should stay at home to help their parents. This has brought about a big gap between girls and boys in many schools in Ghana as some girls believe they don’t have to study too hard as their place is at home.
Some girls feel ashamed if they don’t attend school and so put pressure on their parents in order for them to allow them to go to school. Educating girls will bring unity and togetherness to Ghana. Anything that a man can do, a woman can do just as well, or even better.
By Gifty Appah
Girls help the country of Ghana a lot. They have children which is important for the future of the country. But girls still have to work more than boys. They wash clean the house; sweep the compound, weed, cook etc. One elderly lady who lives in my compound said that ‘All girls need a good friend but even then it can be dangerous. Girls want to live in a good home even if it means hurting a friend in order to do so. It is hard to be a girl in Ghana.’
By Ayisha Ismila
A girl in Ghana must go to school and after school she must help her mother in the kitchen. Years ago, girls were not allowed to go to school; they had to stay at home and help their mothers. But the boys were allowed to go to school. If they married girls who didn’t go to school they would often end up leaving them because they didn’t want to be with an uneducated girl. Now in Ghana girls are allowed to go school because their parents have realised that boys want to marry girls who have been to school. Girls are not treated the same as boys because girls are supposed to all the things around the house like sweeping, cooking, washing, scrubbing the toilet, bath house and kitchen. While the girls are working the boys get to play ball or go to their friend’s house to relax. I don’t think it’s fair that our parents give us all the work in the house. And still in Ghana some girls are not allowed to go to school. I pray in future all girls in Ghana will have the opportunity to go to school.
By Anita Ofori
Now that we are in modern days, girls should be allowed to go to school. It is not only girls who should have to spend all their time in the kitchen; there’s no reason why boys shouldn’t help in the house as well. The fact that boys are human beings means they should help in the kitchen, so that one day they can also do the kitchen work if their mothers are not at home. If a woman gives birth to only boys and ended up being divorced by the husband, what would her sons do if she ever wanted to travel? If she gave them money how would they cook? If they buy food from outside every day this could lead to diseases such as cholera or diarrhea. Mr Anderson, a retired teacher from Senya Beraku said, ‘Now we (in Ghana) have seen that girls should not only be in the kitchen but should also attend school.’
By Ewurama Dfosuhemaa
In many homes in Ghana you will see girls performing household chores while the boys play and fool around. The most painful thing is that many girls have been selling across the traffic lights in cities all over Ghana, with the sole purpose of raising funds for their parents to educate their brothers. How on earth can this be happening? This has been going on because people still think the place for girls is the kitchen. This makes many girls feel very sad, awful and ashamed for being born a female. This mindset has caused many problems for Ghana. The country has almost all the resources which can make a country develop. But this is not happening because too many females are not being permitted to join in the decision making or to give their points of view on the development issues regarding Ghana. The government needs to do more to ensure that girls have equal access to education. The people of Ghana also need to see that girls are the same as boys, and what men can do, women can do even better.
By Deborah Mensah
In Ghana boys are the breadwinners of the family and they work hard to gain money for the needs of their families. Girls do most of the work around the house. Boys can’t do the cooking, washing, cleaning etc. as well as girls. But at times girls are seen selling which is abusing the right of the child. Girls are expected to do much more work in the house than boys, although sometimes boys have to fetch the water for the family. In Ghana girls must be educated because they are the future leaders of their families.