It is a rule in Ghana that young girls, especially those in public senior high schools (SHS) should not braid their hair.
This practice has gone on for years such that students who have braided their hair since infancy have to cut their long hair just before they enter SHS.
Much as education authorities might have a reason for insisting on this practice, my point is that many adults do not realise how traumatising it is for girls to cut their long braided hair.
What baffles me is that Caucasian girls who attend the same schools with us Ghanaian girls are made to keep their long hair. Why must this be accepted? Are we all not equal?
So why must they be favoured against us in that regard?
I have heard many arguments that have been raised to justify the action.
Some of these arguments raised include the fact that, if girls are allowed to keep long hair, they will spend more time taking care of their hair than their studies.
But I think no serious student would do that.
Why should the intelligence of girls be tied to their hair ?
However, rules such as braiding hair in cornrow to the back or keeping it in a tight bun could be introduced and enforced so that there will be uniformity and decency.
In most African movies I watch on television, girls who attend senior high schools have braided hair which means, it is allowed in their countries.
Yet, these girls are not bad academically. This proves that girls can be serious with their studies if they are really determined, whether they braid their hair or not.
I wish to also use this opportunity to speak against the little value people place on Ghanaian girls for which reason they claim a girl’s place is the kitchen.
Today, the world has changed and many women are taking up important positions which hitherto were the preserve of men.
So give the girl-child all that they need now so that they would grow up to become important citizens.
Dillys Chrystal Afful,