My fellow Chadians,
My name is Koubra Choukou. I am from
the north of Kanem District and am 20 years old. I am a student
at the University of Yaoundé 1, in my first year of Sociology
studies. I have come to realise that here in Cameroon parents
her allow their daughters to continue their studies to the point where
they receive their Bachelors and Masters degrees; some even finish
their Doctorate degrees. But where we are from, all is different
from everywhere else, since our parents and grandparents do not even
let their daughters go to school. Our parents see school as a
source of destruction of their traditions by the westerners.
They prefer to give their daughters in marriage when they are twelve
to fifteen years old, to a husband as old as the parents
themselves. Those who are fortunate are given in marriage to a
boy, a minor.
At the same time, I can say from personal
experience that the Chadian Woman now has all the opportunities
afforded her by being alive in the 21st Century to take charge of her
needs and work for modernisation and development in Chad. As for
me, my family refused to send me to continue my studies when I
received my secondary school diploma last year, for the simple reason
that I am a woman, and a woman's place is in the home.
So I did all I could to convince my father
that women also have a place in society. I said, "Let me at
least go obtain my diploma. I can take care of myself without
having to beg from people left and right. I just don't want to
be a burden to my husband! Let me at least do what I can to take
care of my own needs while at school." And this is how I am
now in Cameroon. Here I am, studying Sociology.
I would simply like to tell my sisters that
they need to be responsible for their own selves, their own
needs. If one of them has never been to school, surely there is
are opportunities for commerce or some other working skill for her to
be involved in; lack of schooling does not mean she is without
hope. At the same time, the school is the key that opens the
door to all those opportunities.... My dear sisters, I know that
the situation in our country is difficult to support right now, but
let's not allow others to take the opportunities that come our own
way! Let us be responsible for our own selves, otherwise our
lives are useless...
Please, for goodness sake, why is it that all
other societies are changing, and ours is staying the same? Is
religious conflict the source of all this?
KOUBRA CHOUKOU SULTAN
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