May 8, 2014 9:38 am

Knowledge is power: 300 girls vanish in Nigeria

People attend a demonstration calling on government to rescue kidnapped school girls of a government secondary school Chibok, during workers day celebration in Lagos, Nigeria. Thursday, May, 1. 2014,.

AP Photo/ Sunday Alamba

Can you imagine three hundred girls in your city, town or province, attending school one minute and then gone the next?

Imagine they were kidnapped, stolen, taken into the unknown all because they wanted to learn and follow their dreams.

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Sounds like a story written by the likes of sci-fi novelist Octavia E. Butler, where one minute her protagonist is enjoying all the freedom and privileges that are afforded most individuals living in the modern era and then all of a sudden some unknown force drags the protagonist, (who happens to be a woman) back to the beginning of the 19th century thus stripping her of any and all rights, rendering her practically helpless.

I’m saddened, angered and fearful that nearly 300 schoolgirls in Nigeria were actually kidnapped by a group that feels educating girls and women is a sin.

The group, Boko Haram, is threatening to sell the young girls who were kidnapped three weeks ago. Boko Haram wants to end education for girls. It wants to stop Nigerian girls from studying, aspiring and daring to become doctors, CEOs, artists, individuals who will in fact make the world a better place.

As a woman, mother, news anchor and Nigerian/Canadian I am somewhat encouraged that the world is beginning to take notice that 300 shining lights have gone missing. But the painful fact is that it has taken three long weeks for the world to take notice.Just as troubling is that I stayed fairly silent about this travesty, except for the odd lazy tweet using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls.

Education is a right, a human right. The moment we allow anyone from any part of the world to deny this basic right to women and girls, the world regresses.

The terror has to stop. The girls must be brought home safely. How can I help? Watch me lean in.

Do you believe education is a human right?

© Shaw Media, 2014

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