Girls are a source of instant wealth, therefore, are retained at home for bride price. Research confirms that parents value most of their young girls like gold, coffee and other commodities to be traded at the immediate market value. They are only few and scarce that their value has soared recently. This is even worse around Ialibu area and some parts of Central Province. Some young girls can cost around K20 000. Women are used as the medium to achieve human prosperity. They facilitate for the channelling of wealth like pigs, shell money, pearls, food, modern money and other goods from one person or tribe to another. Poor families with many girls have the fate of becoming rich one day from the wealth that the girl would acquire through bride price payment. Thus, girls are reserved for marriage by their siblings. Some parents question the females’ intellectual capabilities and say they will not perform as well as the male students. They say that males are naturally intelligent and can solicit solutions for academic problems quite easily than females. In the cultural arena, opinions and advice from women are not entertained by men in all forms of decision making. All decisions are based entirely on the men’s instincts as to what they think is right. Women are merely seen as trailers or followers.
Investment in girls’ education lost to husbands at marriage
Some parents say that their investment in their girls’ education will be lost to the girl’s husband at marriage. In the parochial cultural system, most parents’ fear that their resources spent on their daughter’s education will be shifted to the husband at marriage as she will be subject to the husband. The woman is equivalent to any asset the man may have, with no human value. Her value and worth is measured by the number of pigs she rears and the number of children she bears. There is no guarantee for her to go back and share the benefits of her education with her parents. Therefore, parents restrict their girls from attending school as their investment will be wasted. Moreover, parents do all the arrangements for their daughters’ marriage and this could happen while the girl is still at school. They can withdraw their daughter from school at any time, sometimes, without her knowledge. Whether or not the girl is doing well academically, she has to comply as it is embedded in the cultural and tribal jurisdictions and she will be coerced to marry.
Girls, as pillars of local economy
Girls are the backbone of the local economy. Therefore, parents retain them at home. Culturally, some societies perceive women as a utility asset to undertake all household chores. They fear that educated women will not listen to the dictates of men. They view education as an instrument that alienates women from their environment and makes them less submissive to the dictates of men. The continuation of men holding high positions in the traditional hierarchy is fading away as monetary value and those who work for money become more important because they gain respect in the society, irrespective of whether they are men or women. Men’s continuation of dominance in the society is facing a new threat by educated girls. Girls must be stopped from going to school and the existing cultural phenomena are potentially capable of barring girls from going to schools.
Distance and tribal fights
Parents fear for their girls’ safety and stop them from walking long distances to schools when there is a tribal fight. Most tribal fights are caused by land disputes, rape and payback killings and are fought on all frontiers without any truce to limit and control the scope of fighting. In such conditions, girls become vulnerable to being abused and injured when walking long distances to schools as some of the schools are situated in enemy territory. Walking through valleys, climbing gorges and mountains, crossing fast flowing rivers or walking...