International Women’s Day 2013

Yesterday March 8th 2013 was another day to celebrate women and tomorrow sunday some churches will celebrate mothers day.
I watched in the news last night Hon Abike Dabiri Erewa presenting a bill on violence against women, and I got this thought that the fight against gender violence is beginning to look more and more like Nigeria’s fight against corruption. The more we pay lip service to battling this trend, the more it escalates.
Everyday there is news of one form of violence against women, and for every one reported case; hundreds have happened unreported. We live in a world where violence against women has become the norm. Fathers molest children, husbands abuse their wives, siblings molest their sisters, even women are against their fellow women. The hate against the woman is just on the rise (or perhaps women are just now beginning to speak up).
A male child that watched and hated his father abusing his mother almost always grows up to do the same, as depicted in Ramsey Noah’s character in the movie Private Storm, and that is not just a movie, its the reality of the world we live in, a woman maltreated by her mother in-law does the same to her daughter in-law. In the movie Ije; Anya was willing to go to prison rather than let it known that she had been raped because in the world we live in, the shame and stigma is on the victim and not the rapist.
We keep making excuses for our male folks. When a male child extremely punishes or abuses his sisters or other females; we blame the girls. When a woman is abused by her husband; we blame the woman for nagging the man into abuse. When a woman is raped; society blames it on her dressing, attitude and even blames her for being at that place at that time. I bet if a nunnery is attacked we would find a way to blame it on the women.
Society needs to stop with this culture of casting stones and actually find a way forward. I personally belief in prevention rather than in prescribing stiff penalties for the abuse. Some time ago, I listened to popular OAP Ik Osakioduwa on his show, he was lamenting the lack of guidance for the male child. According to him; the girl child has all the women in the society as her mothers. Even in the absence of her mother there’s always someone to teach her how to be a woman. The random woman passing by and noticing a female not sitting right will promptly correct her. All our lives we hear things like “that’s not lady like”, but the male child is more or less left to his own wisdom or foolishness. He is expected to grow to be a man, learn how to be a man almost on his own. Society teaches him that the woman is beneath him and the only way for him to get ahead is by subduing her.
I think we should teach our male child the better way, teach them that hitting a woman is not the only way to establish themselves, that taking an unwilling woman is wrong. Let us teach our children that violence of any form is wrong, let us show our children by our actions not just our words.
A woman is meant to be respected, loved and cherished. Neither sex can survive without the other, nor is any gender superior to the other.
Let’s celebrate our women always, for without the woman, we all won’t be here

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