Girl-Child Education and Nigeria’s Development Agenda: a Literary Perspective
AbstractIn most Third World countries, the girl-child, and by extension, women generally have not been accorded their natural right of place in the scheme of things as human beings, and as equal players in the affairs that concern them. They are short-changed, victimised, and stereotyped as hewers of wood and drawers of water, as well as mere labour providers on the farms and in the home. As such, the girl-child has become a victim of female trafficking across international borders, denied access to education, and consigned to forced early marriage. Against the backdrop of these denials and the dictates of patriarchy, the girl-child is certainly doomed to an eternity of oppression and destruction, unless the structures that stand on her way are uprooted and the wool of deliberate ignorance are pulled-off her face through the granting of right and unfettered access to free and compulsory qualitative and self empowering education that are necessary sine qua non for freedom, survival, and self-actualisation. We have therefore taken a literary trajectory of select literary female characters with a view to positioning them against the background of their access or otherwise to education (formal and informal), and how this plays out in the shaping of their lives vis-à-vis the Nigerian girl-child’s prospect of enhancing herself with a view to contributing to the development of her self-worth, her immediate community and the nation at large.
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