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A wake-up call on women’s issues in Nigeria

Tribune

A wake-up call on women’s issues in Nigeria

there is no doubt that women play important roles in the formation of any society. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs as documented in 2017 estimated 49.4 per cent of the general population in Nigeria to be women. Howver, despite this increasing population with eminent contributions, as in every capitalist society, women are still oppressed and marginalised in Nigeria. Recently, a jobless graduate and facebook addict who allegedly killed his banker wife without showing remorse claimed that he acted in self defence.  We live in a society where women are blamed for everything. If a child misbehaves, it is the fault of women. If a man dies in some parts of the country, a woman is forced to drink from the water used in bathing his corpse to prove her innocence. Yet, if a woman dies, the man is never subjected to any tradition. Women are raped day-in-day-out, yet the society is doing little or nothing to remedy the situation.

Women are irreplaceable, they are just perfect the way they are because God designed them to be so. Why then are people bastardising what has been beautified by the Almighty? Why are they harassed and maltreated? I think the society needs to comprehend and embrace women, nurture and pamper them, rather than showing nonchalant attitudes towards them. Women are to be shown earnest concern and protection. Women are supposed to be treated to a healthy dose of authentic love and care because they are outstandingly gorgeous, majestic,  refined, courteous, creative, distinguished, polished and simply amazing.

The advancement of women in the society must be given a serious boost. There is a need to seek redress in cases of domestic violence, verbal and emotional abuse. Today, it is only extreme issues of women rights violation which lead to death or permanent disability that earn media attention and police interest. Husbands, in most cases, abuse wives verbally and emotionally, yet nothing is done about this. They are deprived of their rights to peaceful coexistence and sometimes, these aggressions are transfers to their children, who are not even the initiator of problem.

Women who are victims of  domestic violence hardly report to the appropriate authorities because they believe action will not be taken and it would be considered a private affair between the husband and wife. Moreover, the tradition and religious beliefs in Nigeria, a patriarchal society, see a wife as the property of the husband. A former Minister for Women and Social Development, Mrs. Hajo Sani, at the 19th United Nations Session in New York, expressed worry about the state of women who are victims of violence in Nigeria. She said: “There is no record of the prevalence of violence against women especially within the home. This is because women hardly complain or report domestic violence. Even when reported, the law-enforcement agents do not readily entertain complaints of domestic violence. They treat such complaints as a minor offence of ‘two people fighting’ or laugh it off as husband and wife problem…” Therefore, to help curb this situation, laws that protect women should be made. There should be provision of formal mechanisms to seek redress in cases of domestic violence, verbal and emotional abuse through police investigations and court proceedings.

  • Soba writes in from Bayero University, Kano.

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