THE company you keep is the most important aspect of surviving the woes of life as a girl child, say young South Coast girls. In commemoration of Internation Girl Child Day celebrated on October 11 young girls speak about some of the ups and downs of being a girl child in 2017.Thimna Matshoba (17), from Margate said being a girl was one of the hardest things any “living creature could ever be”. “Being a girl in 2017 means you have to be strong as you will meet challenges like depression, peer pressure, fitting into society, being extra careful as we are being kidnapped, and what and who you really want to be.” “It horrifies me the way we ‘take down’ the girl name as it now has no value because of the things we do that lead us to teenage pregnancy, alcohol, drugs, suicide and sometimes forgetting who we really are and the family background we come from,” said Thimna.Another 17-year-old from Gamalakhem who asked not to be named due to court proceedings she is currently undergoing for a bullying incident said it is of paramount importance for a girl child to know how to choose your friends wisely. “Peer pressure is one of the biggest challenges that girl children face. When choosing your friends you must make sure they have the right personality and will not get you into trouble for doing the wrong things,” she said. “To my fellow mates, let’s treat ourselves with dignity and be ourselves as 2017 is our year to shine, be beautiful and focus on achieving our goals,” said Thimna.