“Mothers with only girls, how do you handle the societal stigma against women with only girl children? I just had my 4th daughter and my neighbours are saying that upon that am highly educated, that I don’t even know how to plan the sex of my children. I love my girls but am ashamed of walking in public with them because of the way people look at me as a failure and incomplete woman.Some even stop me on the way to teach me sex selection. My in-laws are saying that my legs are not yet strong in the family since I have no son. My hubby once said he might look for a solution elsewhere. I need advice and encouragement because am getting depressed”.
I saw this post in a group I was added to, I wanted to respond but thought against it because I knew my response was going to be so lengthy and so I decided it would be better to take time to explain my feelings. This is not the first time I have seen or heard a Nigerian woman complaining or going through stigmatization because of having girls. It definitely won’t be the last except the age old believes and stigma ” that the boy child” is everything or what makes a family complete is broken.
Years ago while living in Port Harcourt, next to my building was a a clinic with a maternity unity and I loved paying visits to see new mums there. A day came when I called and met this young mum of a beautiful baby girl. I met this lady crying , on further inquiry I found out the husband had refused to come to discharge her because she had a third girl child. I was very upset.
After much threats from the clinic management, he came in the next day. Furiously threatening the lady that he was discharging and sending her straight to the father’s house. Unfortunately for him and fortunately for the lady, I came in for my normal visitation, met and spoke to him.
I told him the story of my dad of blessed memory and his girls, I and my sisters. The story I shared with him that day changed his African mentality and perspective about the girl child. He couldn’t believe what I told him but was humbled by it. He felt so foolish at trying to leave his wife, he went home with his daughter and decided to treat his family differently.
It is that same story I want to share today with the sister who wrote this and other sisters going through this. One singular sentence struck me in her write-up, the fact that “I love my girls but am ashamed of walking in public with them”
Hmmmm! You can not love you girls and let what people say about them or you having them make you ashamed of them. Love will fight for what it believes on. That was what my dad did. His girls were too much, there was nothing any one said that made him lose focus.
My dad had only a son and five girls, in the era when the man child was all. His brothers who had even 2, opted to marry more wives but my father struct to his family. He would not hear having another wife just because of a male child.
My dad made everyone understand that his girls were equal to his son, he decided to make sure we were educated to any level we wanted to study up to. Many called him a fool but he persisted in the path he had chosen. Not allow words of man to distract him. He was mocked or we were named as the “Gori” girls.
Yes indeed! we were really his girls. Nothing made him or our mum lose their believe that what a man can become or do, we could do it. It paid off, for his girls graduated. Not only graduated but became a source of joy to him till he passed on years later.
Today, we all live in different countries in the Western world. None of us is in Nigeria, thanks to a wonderful father who did not believe only in a male child to neglect his female children. Like he use to tell his brothers, thank God for adding a son but if there was none, he would still have not had a polygamous family because of that.
So to this sister, my advice is your daughters need you. Your being ashamed of them won’t help. My dad believed that it is what the man puts into the woman that she delivers. So stop blaming yourself and give your daughters love. Be proud of what you have.
I and my sisters will always be our dad’s girls, we are proud to be. No changing that fact. Proudly my father’s daughters and proudly “GORI GIRLS”