#BringBackOurGirls

Boing Boing blogger Xeni Jardin said, “Maybe if the more than 200 Nigerian girls abducted from their school weeks ago were on a ferry in Korea, a jet liner in the Indian Ocean, in the owner’s box at a Clippers basketball game, or were white, the world would pay more attention.” Like Jardin, I wonder why it has taken so long for this tragedy to become “mainstream” news here. Now #BringBackOurGirls is trending and people every where are speaking out. These girls are being sold for $12. This is kidnapping, child marriage, and human trafficking.

But a hashtag and retweets aren’t enough. Even with news coverage finally catching up…are they telling the correct story? Besides kidnapping, child marriage and human trafficking, this is a government’s failure to act. This is Boko Haram continuing to deny Nigerian’s their human rights. NWU Gender Studies grad, Alexandra Hartmann wrote an article discussing the complexity of the issue in PolicyMic. Hartmann stated,

“This is a story that is at once entirely about these girls — their names, their want for education, their desperate families and an idle and untrustworthy government that’s failed them — and also not about them at all, but about the corruption and ineffectiveness that has made fighting Boko Haram unimaginable and disastrous, an unwillingness of the government to admit fault and the tactics of abduction, rape and forced marriage that are repeatedly used in warfare because the world fails to condemn them swiftly and absolutely. The one thing it is not about is the political platforms of these Western pundits.”

Even though life is hectic with finals, I urge all of you to take time to read and learn about this issue. Think about it critically. Care about it deeply. I hope it is not long before the media is sharing that the girls have been safely returned home and that a government is being held accountable.

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