BECAUSE I AM A GIRL, I MUST STUDY

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Poem by Kamla  Bhasin

A father asks his daughter:

Study? Why should you study?

I have sons aplenty who can study

Girl, why should you study?

 

The daughter tells her father:

Since you ask, here’s why I must study.

Because I am a girl, I must study.

 

Long denied this right, I must study

For my dreams to take flight, I must study

Knowledge brings new light, so I must study

For the battles I must fight, I must study

Because I am a girl, I must study.

 

To avoid destitution, I must study

To win independence, I must study

To fight frustration, I must study

To find inspiration, I must study

Because I am a girl, I must study.

 

To fight men’s violence, I must study

To end my silence, I must study

To challenge patriarchy I must study

To demolish all hierarchy, I must study.

Because I am a girl, I must study.

 

To mould a faith I can trust, I must study

To make laws that are just, I must study

To sweep centuries of dust, I must study

To challenge what I must, I must study

Because I am a girl, I must study.

 

To know right from wrong, I must study.

To find a voice that is strong, I must study

To write feminist songs I must study

To make a world where girls belong, I must study.

Because I am a girl, I must study.

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About FEMNET

FEMNET (The African Women's Development and Communication Network) is a pan African, feminist organisation working to advance the rights of women and girls in Africa. FEMNET has carved a niche in Informing and mobilizing African women in order for them to participate and influence policies and processes that affect their lives. FEMNET has hundreds of members in over 40 countries in Africa as well as in the diaspora. It has played a critical role in building the women's movement in Africa since inception in 1988.

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