Girl with a big voice, a very big message

Community Opinion & Analysis Feb 8, 2013 at 1:04 pm

SPEAK-OUT TORONTO

By Na’eema Garcia

My name is Na’eema bint Idriis wa Amiira. In Arabic, this is Na’eema the daughter of Idriis and Amiira.

I am 7 years-old.

When I grow up I would like to be a Scholar, an Archeologist, a business owner, a Grand Master in Chess and a WNBA player.

There are so many other things I want to do but I also know that many girls like me are limited just because they are girls.

Did you know that 1 in 7 girls marries before the age of 15?

That in many countries around the world, many girls must quit or drop out of school because they are the ones expected to stay home and care for the household and families?

That out of 143 million out-of-school youth, GIRLS make up more than half of them?

That because of so many cultural beliefs, women and girls are often seen as a burden so they are the last ones to eat, married off so it is one less mouth to feed or even killed like they are worth nothing?

Girls as young as 2 years-old are SOLD to brothels and girls MY age are suffering with STDs and HIV and this ALL makes me very sad.

Well, people may look at me and think that I am just a little girl but BECAUSE I am a Girl, I have a very BIG VOICE with a very BIG message!

Investing in girls and their education is one of the MOST IMPORTANT solutions for today’s world.

A girl with an education can lead to her being in a safer environment, the chance for a healthier life, the knowledge of how to earn a good living and marry IF and WHEN she is ready.
And when this cycle starts, it continues for the generations to come.

And in bigger numbers, the trafficking, the violence, and the oppression decrease and the success of the world can then INCREASE.

Because the truth is, women and girls are HALF of society. The ones that nurture and educate and give birth to the other half.

And I am here to ask you to help me spread this profound and vital message.

So that all those little girls and their little girls can not only say, “When I grow up I dream to be a doctor or a teacher…”

This is so if they DO survive to be a grown-up,

THEY WILL BE.

Thank you.
Na’eema Ticzon Garcia
Co-written and edited by: Analise (Amiira) Ticzon
Date: Friday, Feb 1st, 2013
Place: I Deal Coffee, 3336 Yonge Street
Event: SpeakOutPoetry Canada’s 1st Open Mic Night

Mama also said a piece that evening and although Abee did not, he was before in the past and is on their website as a past poet. Na’eema and Mama were inspired to write this after watching “Half the Sky” documentary and being involved in “BecauseIamGirl” and promoting “theGirlEffect”; http://www.speakoutpoetry.com/poet/idriis-garcia/#.