Evangelos Marinakis’ Heart For Girls
A society that takes care of it girls is a society with a healthy future in the world of Evangelos Marinakis. It is humiliating to see the female genital mutilation practiced in the world today. FGM is more rampant in communities that have very conservative traditions.
In Africa for instance, more than 28 million girls have never set their feet in school. Perhaps they may never attempt. The underlying factors among many others are the undermining culture and tradition like FGM.
The rights of women are much violated in this communities. In countries like Afghanistan, 87% of women are under total oppression. The culture disengages them from developmental activities. Less than 10% successfully go to school. Those who attend schooling, less than 55 go beyond tertiary education.
The reasons for FGM prove a less progressive society. They view it as a way to initiate women into adulthood. To make them acceptable as compatible members of the community who can take up adult responsibilities. In this process, the goal and visions of the girl-child take a different turn.
Where Evangelos was brought up, while his father was working in the Southern Part of Sahara, FGM was the order of the day. Communities considered it a very crucial event. Girls were pulled out of school to attend. It was a forced practice. The unfortunate happenings were the after circumcision.
Girls who underwent the initiation got into forced marriages. The marriages turned the girls into slaves. They became the source of labor in the homes. Many women, cut all the dreams short to attend to families. They were not allowed to participate in any activity that the community did not warranty like schooling.
In some cases, the procedure killed them. Girls bled to death. Evangelos found this to be a ruthless practice. After his undergraduate course, he chose to create a different picture in communities. It was not an easy road for him. He received harsh criticism because he was not an indigenous member of the community.
The Course Against FGM
Evangelos Marinakis sourced for funds from international bodies to help him run the programs. He first enrolled the few educated men in the community to help spread the word. It was not easy too since most of them despite education were engraved into their culture.
Step to step, he achieved more enrollment in the Community Based Organizations (CBO) he formed. He managed to get in more elders who helped him pull down the practice. Through his anti-FGM CBOs, he championed formulation of more rights of women in the country. This included acts of parliament that made female genital mutilation an illegal thing.
His efforts bore ripple effects. Many governments in Africa formulated educational policies that made education for every child compulsory. In some countries like Kenya and Libya, Education elementary education became free in all public schools. With the adoption of government policies, the girls began to advance.
UNICEF and Global partnership, have recognized his efforts. He has partnered with them, and today, the campaigns are still on in most parts of the Middle East and Africa. The drives are not only to stop FGM, but also to ensure equal rights for all children in the society. They help to create a more enabling environment for the girl child to pursue dreams.
According to Evangelos’ experience, women who go to school are likely to be more wealthy, healthier, and supportive of the course of the well-being of a community than men. He insists that killing the rights of women slows down the progress of the nation and the world.
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