Yesterday was the International Day of the Girl Child, and to commemorate it, an acquaintance of mine penned the piece below for your reading pleasure. Check on it, and do let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
This piece is dedicated to the missing Chibok girls, whose uncertain fates should serve as a reminder to us of our responsibility to the lovely ones in our society.
Violence against women has become a “global public health problem of epidemic proportions,” according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). “Some 35% of all women will experience either intimate partner or non-partner violence,” says WHO.
Reports from news dailies and other media all around the world are enormously tainted with the gradual yet constant rising tide of the sad plight of the girl child. Infliction of torments and all manner of cruelties sadly await many girls in Nigeria, and Africa particularly. Why? The girl child and the matured women are no more regarded as a property of the man. In my opinion, any man that considers any object as his property would see that property as inviolable. But the reverse appears to be the case when it comes to women, who for the case of argument, are largely regarded as items of property. Because of the causal and resultant effects of abuse on the girl child and the matured woman, I would subsequently use the girl child and her matured woman counterpart interchangeably.
I recently played the devil’s advocate in an argument with a very good friend, Enumah Kosisochukwu, a co-writer/blogger. Kosy (for short) was trying to draw my attention to the fact that the world is fast changing and evolving with regard to female issues. It was her view that gone are the days when men lord it over their wives and daughters. She however pointed out the fact that Africa is yet to take up its gauntlet and join in the war against women oppression. This I agreed with.
I also had a talk with another good friend pertaining to feminist issues. This friend, Harrison, posited that the ‘so-called feminism movement’ is strongly over-hyped and over-flogged. According to him, the current feminist-mania is a calculated publicity stunt spearheaded by insecure and paranoid members of society, who more or less are seeking attention where there is none.
This I do not agree with. I don’t think the current clamour for female recognition is a calculated move set to seek any attention, other than the simple fact that women should be granted their pride of place in societal standing. I’ve once written a piece where I diligently espoused the many hardships women face in society, which calls for an awakening to the worrisome issues facing them, and the society in general. To come to terms with reality, it is quite uncontroverted that women in our society, particularly are oftentimes reduced to mere objects that naturally are to be acquired without due recourse to their peculiarity and feelings. They are meant to undergo unprecedented hardships just to fulfill the selfish yearnings of men. Rape, objectification, spouse battery, female genital mutilation, subjugation, female trafficking and a host of other evils bedeviling society are the tools used by men and the society at large to achieve their ungodly desires against women. These issues are on the increase! Only a deluded individual would deny that.
No private citizen has any right, in whatever guise, to prejudice another person in that other person’s civil enjoyments/entitlements. No man has any manner of jurisdiction whatsoever to inflict pain and injustice on the woman. A holistic view of our society currently would reveal the extremely disturbing fact of women being downgraded and dehumanized by the men. By the nature of institutions in society, women have been designed to be at the tail end of the natural order. They are expected to play subservient roles in society. And this makes them easily exploited, subdued and desecrated. Women are generally bestowed the status of valueless objects. Amongst the many evil structures, the patriarchal leaning of society is a great contributive factor to women oppression. The Nigerian entertainment industry is certainly not helping matters at all in regards fighting the scourge of women oppression and domination over the fairer sex. The industry which ought to be at the forefront of canvassing for female issues is becoming more the main conduit through which women are objectified and overwhelmingly marginalized.
The idea of scoffing at the feminist agitation, something championed by male chauvinists, is unfair and wrong. That women seek their dignity and self-worth isn’t a bad idea at all. The world was not created in order to erect and solidify the bloated pomp and compulsive will of the man. All humans on earth form part of a single interdependent system which exists for the mutual benefit of all. The primacy of women sustaining the world is, no doubt, a matter of ordinary understanding. And when, such vital role is put in jeopardy, the fate of the world would certainly be a bleak one.
On account of the World Day of the Girl Child, observed globally on October 11th, 2014, I want to use this medium to specially profess my admiration and great respect for the female folks. They have thus far embraced what society continues to throw at them with unflinching perseverance, benignity of manners, and staunchness of spirit. Even ongoing feminist agitations are mostly done with such esteemed toleration and decent temperament. Only a handful of men spontaneously show compassion and affection to ongoing women degradation. The pittance offered by the men is lesser than the loss incurred by the women and yet, it is made out as a generous concession which ought not to be the case.
Finally, the dialectics surrounding the economic and socio-cultural plight of women in the world reinforces the paramountness of women as special creatures. It has dawned on the world that women ought to be protected and respected. To this end, a whole lot still needs to be done by law and policy formulators in every corner of the world to facilitate female equality through the instrumentality of the law. No matter what form it comes cloaked in, an injustice is an injustice. And all of humanity should in good conscience champion the fight to right this wrong. Though we may grow rich with business ventures we don’t delight in, or get cured by drugs we have little faith in, we however cannot find peace through actions that prick our conscience.
Written by Collins Arikor, tweets @CollinsOgo