By Batsheva Haber
It’s been more than 2 months since over 200 girls were kidnapped and threatened to be sold into slavery, all because they had the audacity of thinking that in the 21st century it would be ok to assume that they can get an education.
The response of the world was overwhelming. A massive internet campaign was launched under the title #BringBackOurGirls. This campaign spread far and wide, and made it all the way to the white house. The first lady Michelle Obama herself was recently photographed holding a sign promoting the cause. But I need to ask the obvious question, how is this really helping our girls?
I am the first to sing the praises of social media. I believe wholeheartedly that by using social media we can raise awareness, create a movement, and even change the world. And yet, I think it is important not to lose sight of the fact that the social media campaign is the means, not the end. Having the most trending hashtag will not directly help these girls. The online campaign is not the goal but simply a trigger – a springboard meant to launch action and social change. It is not an accomplishment that the people calling the shots are thinking of these girls, that is their job. It is an accomplishment when they do something in the matter.
So I have to ask: Where have our leaders been? The case of these girls is not an isolated event. The people of Nigeria have been under the threat of the Boko Haram terrorists for years. Likewise, many of the countries going through modernization are suffering a terrorist threat. This incident is just one more expression of this difficult reality. And yet, it is not clear what our leaders have done in the matter!
Leaders of the western world! Leave Facebook, Instragram and Twitter to us. Perhaps if you spent less time on selfies, and more on self-evaluation of how well you’re doing your job, 200 girls would be safe at home now.