Bring Back Our Girls. Then What?

By Chika Nwaka 

A thought has lingered at the back of my mind since learning of the girls’ potential return on October 21st  – What’s next for them? Perhaps I am looking too far ahead but it saddens me that their return is truly only the beginning of solving what is a deep flaw in society today.After six months of surviving unimaginable circumstance, once they are home they will not only be deeply traumatized, but also still at risk. From what I have read, there is currently nothing stopping something like this from reoccurring.

But now she’s too afraid to go back to school. She says she wants to be a farmer and tend to a small plot of land with her mother.” – The Guardian

 

The above quote from the guardian outlines 18 year old Lydia Pogu’s plans after her miraculous escape from a Boko Haram truck earlier this year. I think this confirms my thoughts to a certain extent – many of the girls will be dissuaded from re-attending school out of fear of the consequences, I know I undoubtedly would be. The girls are heroes of course, but I can’t help but think who has really won here if the girls are no longer able to attend school feeling like the strong and intelligent women they are? If they can’t attend school without fearing for their lives, a large majority will choose not, which is exactly what Boko Haram wants. By no means am I implying that the girls must return to school if it means risking their lives, I just feel like unless something is done to ensure that they will be able to go back and pursue the education they deserve, the return of the girls won’t be the end of this tragedy.

I hope that the world sees that #Bringbackourgirls needs to evolve to encompass everything that follows, their return only scrapes the surface.


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