“When I am ready to settle down, I will go to the village and find myself a woman to marry.” Hard to believe but those were actual words from a very dear, educated and learned friend of mine. Reason, women like me with degrees are not easy to manage.

While I did not give much thought to this statement by my learned friend, I have come to realize that so much emphasis has been given to the girl child. And rightfully so due to the cultural and historical injustices that women and girls have undergone. Female infanticide, female genital mutilation, gender-based violence and sexual abuse are just some of the issues that women and girls have to fight in their lifetime. It is this fight that has seen women grow to prove that what a man can do, a woman can do better. However, the boy child has been left behind. Growing up in a world where boys don’t cry.

While women fight to get to the top, the men are doing everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

However for justice and fairness to prevail, the needs of boys and girls, men and women need to be put into account at all levels of policy making process. The adage that power still lies in the hands of “old white male” stills holds true and anyone who begs to differ is welcomed to argue their point. At the international level policy makers and high positions are still male dominated. That being said, we cannot ignore the progress that is being made towards equal opportunities for both women and men. Major achievements have been reported since the UN Women’s Decade from 1975-1985.

Cognizant of education as the key to a brighter future, the Kenyan government rolled out the Free Primary Education. This was in line with MDG No. 2 to ensure that all children have equal access to education.

We have come along way but the journey ahead is still long.

One strategy thought that will get us there is collaboration and not competition. A partnership that ensures that both parties needs are represented and respected.

It is this partnership that I aspire to see in my lifetime.

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