DAUGHTERS ARE SPECIAL

Hello Precious People, as women’s month wraps up, let’s talk about how special daughters are.
I am on Facebook, looking at my newsfeed. As I scroll down, I notice a friend’s post in which she thanks God for the birth of her “prince”. She had three daughters before finally getting a son. So she cannot help but celebrate her boy. I go to the comments and read. Another friend writes in Cameroon Pidgin English: “You should thank God that you have given birth to your husband’s successor. If you didn’t get a son your husband would have sent you parking from that marriage.”

In Cameroon, a male child is usually referred to as the “chop chair” of his father. This means he is the fit child to succeed his father. But female children are rarely accorded this position.
When a woman gives birth to a female child, the child is not as valued as when she gives birth to a male. So a woman who finally gets a son after two or more daughters feels like she has walked right into light after darkening moments of daughters only.
My pen is eager to talk about this “daughter only syndrome” that many have been erroneously coined a cankerworm. It is one of those issues that I do not only witness but also experience.
I gave birth to my second daughter and was enjoying her ravishing beauty when my brother-in-law’s wife phoned me and said: “We hear you are only giving birth to girls.” As a typical African woman, she expressed her disappointment in me for bringing forth a female child again instead of a “chop chair” for my husband.
This is where violence against women starts- right from when the girl is born. She is under looked, undervalued and unwanted.
Society pressurizes her mother to subsequently bring forth a son and be a “real woman”. Some women get pregnant again rapidly and their hope is, “It’s a boy this time.”
Then with panting hearts, they wait for the news….Nope! It’s a girl again. They are disappointed and desperate. They are likely to ill treat their God-sent queen. Other women make them feel inadequate. They develop an inferiority complex especially in front of those who are “proud” mamas of strong boys.
They do not lose hope. They produce a chain of female children in their quest for males. From one female child to the next their hope diminishes. In the end they are stuck with daughters only.
Their husbands take in second wives who can bear them sons. After suffering verbal abuse for their incapacity to produce sons they have to battle it out with competitive co-wives.
Some visit witch doctors in sought of a supernatural power that can cleanse their wombs and enable them to produce “real” children.
Is it not obvious? The stigma that has been attached to women bearing just daughters has lots on harmful effects. I call this the “accepted madness”.
Even hospitals in Cameroon are realizing the red light this brings and they are putting a STOP sign to it.
One of such is the Mbingo Baptist Health Center in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala. This was my venue for an ultrasound during my first pregnancy. I understood the medical benefits of having my womb viewed under the radiologist’s lenses.
But I was also eager to know if I will be having a boy or a girl so that I could plan to buy blue stuff or pink stuff. However, the medical specialist declined to reveal the baby’s sex to me. I was disappointed but I got her point.
According to a midwife that taught us at the ante-natal class in this same hospital, they began refusing to unveil baby’s sexes to mothers because of the negative reactions put up by those who badly wanted boys and were frustrated when the medical images revealed they were carrying girls.
She said a lot of women became downcast when they were told they were carrying girls and not boys as they wanted. And carrying that feeling of rejection towards a baby is not good for the wellbeing of the child.
The maternal health workers at the Mbingo Baptist Health Centre strongly believe in the well-known Pidgin English saying, “Pikin na pikin”. This means “every child is valuable no matter the sex.”
According to the Huffington Post, a Nigerian baby factory uncovered months ago in the Southeastern region of the country sold boys for more money than girls.
Still in this report by the Huffington Post, Nigerian ex-judge Oby Nwankwo said, “Widows and daughters have faced massive obstacles when trying to inherit family resources after the death of a patriarch.”
This explains why women/girls feel disadvantaged. They do not enjoy the same privileges as men/boys.
Well, I am from a typical African society and I know for sure that a girl is not a less important child. Yes, I will like to have a son in the future but that’s not because I feel handicapped as a girls-only mom. It is because I want a taste of both sexes. I am not seeking for some approval from the propagators of this “accepted madness.”
If bearing only girls is a crime, then let me be the culprit. If they think it makes a mom inferior, well it only makes me superior.
The President of the United States, Barack Obama has two daughters. Are they not cute? Is Michelle Obama in any way handicapped because she bore only girls? The answer is an emphatic, “No!”
Our culture has continuously sold the idea of boys being better than girls and unfortunately, many mothers are buying it.
It is time to change this weird line of thinking. Let us celebrate our daughters from when they are in our wombs, to when they are born till when they grow up.
Let us flaunt and flaunt them until those who believe in boys as the better kids will become envious.
My daughter just held me and she told me in her cute little voice, “Mummy, I love you.” I know… daughters are really sweet.
“Pikin na pikin and girl pikin na better pikin!” (Each child is special and girls are super special)

First published in my journal at WorldPulse.com

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15 Comments

  1. Daughters, sons all are special gift from God. I read alot of African novels and I enjoyed the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi. She has very interesting quotes about gender and feminism. She said ''the problem with gender is it prescribes how we should be rather than recognising how we are. '' I come from a polygamous family with many many strong hard working men and women. But my dad's chop chair is a woman, one of my elder sisters. She is not even the oldest neither is she the most educated. But my dad decided to break the stereotype and chose her. No one thought she was going to be this strong but she took the responsibility and is doing a marvellous job. We all call her mama, even our older brothers respect her to the t. What a man can do a woman can do it better. Daughters hooray!!!

  2. You are very right on that. The Bible says children (not just daughters or sons) are gifts from the Lord. It is wrong to treat daughters as lesser beings. If I see your father, I'll give him cola. He knows the worth of a woman. When women are put in positions of authority, they excel! Thanks for adding your voice to this, Angele.

  3. Ashabi Dollar

    Your kids are so beautiful

  4. Ashabi Dollar

    I just came across ur blogs and I am loving it already..

  5. Welcome on board, dear!

  6. You are really doing a nice job, and i really love this write up. I have two beautiful daughters and i am very proud of them.

  7. Awww thanks dear. Love to your daughters.

  8. claudine efenge

    you hit the nail straight on the head… i have three adorable girls, aged 13, 12, 8. Don't get me started on my girls… i could create a blog only just writing on how phenomenal they are. I lost my 2 months old baby, boy some few months ago, in June. On my birthday, i was and i'm still hurting. The annoying thing is everyone thinks i'm hurting because it was a boy. Terrible!!

  9. Oh so sorry about the loss of your baby boy, dear. May God comfort and heal you.
    I could also start a blog on just how phenomenal my girls are. Those who pity me are on their on. Every child matters!

  10. hmmm Pre, I have a similar post in the oven right now:-) this girl/boy matter serious, if you don't mind I could link it up when the time comes. You got really beautiful, well nourished daughters:-)

  11. Thanks Kewan!
    Feel free to link it up. This girl/boy matter is really serious.

  12. I usually wonder why some people are so much into this boy being more valuable thing than girl. I often tell myself if God gives me only girls, i’ll be so grateful. Inshort Pre girls rockkkk. I have a daughter, lost a baby boy at birthday. ‘pikin na pikin’ really. Beautiful babies u have.

    • Thanks Melvis! God created every child unique and special so we should value them all. Thanks for dropping a line, dear.

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