The International Day of the Boy-Child also called the World Day Of The Boy Child, is a recent observance which began in 2018 to raise awareness on the need to protect the boy from harmful societal influences, similar to “Save the Girl Child”.
Founded by Dr. Jerome Teelucksingh, a university lecturer from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, who is also the brain behind International Men’s Day, the World Day of the Boy Child is aimed at focusing on the well being of the boy, including his emotions, values and transition into manhood.
Dr Teelucksingh, who is a leader of thought on gender issues is of the opinion that gender equality would not be achieved if boys remain neglected
Buttressing this, a lawyer and founder of an NGO, A Mothers Love initiative, Mrs Hanatu Enwemadu stated that the society is paying a lot of attention to the wellbeing of the girl child, a situation which she said had led to the neglect of the boy child physically, morally, mentally and psychologically, thereby leading to increase in crime and other social vices in the society.
Advocating affirmative actions to improve the wellbeing of the boy child, Mrs Enwemadu, whose organisation is also promoting committed fatherhood, implored fathers, male family members, and political leaders to exhibit appropriate behaviours, moral and ideals worth emulating by the boy-child, Emphasizing that a well balanced boy child today will turn out to become a well groomed gentleman tomorrow.
“We all need to come together to solve this problem, we can not be neglecting one gender to the detriment of another one, we tell boys not to cry telling them their tears are signs of weakness forgetting that they are are children and human beings too, this must change” she said
To ensure a balance in the upbringing of both the boy and girl child, a family life coach and author of the book, out of the box parenting, Mr Praise Fowowe recommends intentional parenting based on the application of family system engineering, a process in which every member of the family impact on one another and also advised parents to share their parenting blueprints with caregivers.
He said “create a parenting scripts and share the script with your support system that this is the way I want this child raised, the problem is many of us don’t even have any script”
Speaking in a similar vein, the founder of Boys Lives Matter, an NGO focusing on rehabilitation and prevention of sexual abuse of boys, Nkechi Macaulay canvassed the nurturing of the boy child in a loving family unit.
She also called for a return of communal child upbringing, mentorship in schools and what she called male education and a change in societal perception of the boy child.
Pointing out that a lot of boys are already roaming the streets without proper guidance, Nkechi Macaulay advocated the establishment of more correctional homes to check juvenile delinquency.
“To help boys who have been broken to find their way back to good morals and good living, too many boys are on our streets, they need to be rehabilitated, retrained, mentored and catered for, so that they can turn out right and impact their community and government should look into recruiting more male teachers at the primary level of education so that boys can be mentored well by these male teachers, imagine a child who has no male role model at home and also come to school without having no male influence”
The respondents believe that proper nurturing and protection of the boy child would prevent some of the societal problems, including spousal abuse and violent crimes.
Report by Omolara Omosanya-Radio Nigeria