I want to start this blog post by expressing my distaste, anger, confusion, anxiety, and total disappointment towards the unjust treatment melted against women. It is horrific to say the least. So much has been said on this particular issue, yet little has been done to curb this menace. If you are a man reading this post, I hope you do better and you are not part of the patriarchal system women are fighting daily to abolish.
The issue of gender discrimination has become a distinctive phenomenon all over the world. Nigeria is not left out of this discriminating infamy. The present-day Nigerian woman is plagued with a lot of difficulties. She is expected to carry these numerous difficulties with a smile and a thank you. In Nigerian terms, a woman is often times defined as someone’s daughter, wife, widow, sister, and so much more. Her qualifications do not go beyond an attachment to a man. A woman is constantly faced with these constraints. From the precolonial times, it can be said that the role and status of the Nigerian woman has evolved. However, the one question remains? How much has really evolved? Are women in Nigeria still not portrayed in the image of a marginalized, helpless and oppressed group?
A rise in feminism in Nigeria which has been the most powerful agency of change for the modern woman has indeed aided greatly in the great steps and attempts in the complete eradication of patriarchy. However, despite the many struggles and fights being taken on by feminism, there is still so much to achieve. These many struggles remain as a result of the patriarchal system that continually fights back. The present society and governing laws make it harder for bigger results to be achieved and thus creating greater frustration for the woman.
In recent news the issue of rape has become an everyday report, as victims with the support of women nation wide are finding the courage to share their stories. There has been an outrage of shock and disappointment as rapists been called out turn out to be close friends, boyfriends, husbands and even favorite celebrities. This has raised a lot of eyebrows in concern as women are wondering if there is a safe place for the woman in our present-day society? This has resulted in a lot of debates and the final conclusion though shocking and disappointing is ‘there is really no safe place for the woman.’ News such as the death and murder of Uwa in a church, has sent shock waves through out the entire country and has opened the trend and safe place for women to out their abusers. However, it has further exposed the ills and negativity been perpetuated by the patriarchy. We see the men who have been called out having little or no remorse as they further abuse their victims not only privately but publicly as they have the backings of the so-called ‘legal system.’ There is little or no accountability as the system was never programmed to favor women. One of these lack of accountability can be seen in the rape accusation against D-banj who is a Nigerian musicain and a well known celebrity by Seyitan. Not only does he unlawfully kidnaps her, he further goes ahead to hijack her social media accounts to promote his music. This was not only a slap to Seyitan, but to women nation wide. This was daylight mockery and oppression and would likely make other victims too sacred to come out to share their stories.
There has been cases upon cases that end up not being addressed or get thrown out of the law court for issues such as the accused being influential or lack of evidence. Women are barely protected in today’s society. From sexual abuse being perpetuated in homes by family members, to teachers in schools, bosses in work places, strangers by the side walk and so much more. It is so sad and emotionally draining to see your fellow sisters this way and knowing you are also not protected. We see long threads and articles on how to protect yourself as a woman from pepper spray buying, to coming home early, and dressing decently, yet nobody talks about the fact that these are only easy to say when you are not being physically faced with your abuser. Personally for me, i was so numb and could only let out whimpers i felt were screams. Did i know the drill of shouting, screaming, kicking, hitting back? Of course i did, but at that point i was so numb and felt nothing. I pray we all heal from situations we can not speak about.
I would like to say that rape and sexual abuse could also be subtle. It must not be the way Nollywood shows you. It could be that partner you said no to, that person that tapped your bum without consent, the person that added that drug to your drink to make you sleepy so as to kiss you. It is a whole lot. As a man, i want you to try a little something, ask all of your females friends who would be willingly to share with their sexual abuse story to share, and you would discover that 9 out of 10 women have either been raped or have been sexually abused. It is a very sad reality that can not be ignored anymore. The Nigerian woman faces struggles daily that not only threatens her sanity, but her life as well. From the very day a woman is born, her struggles begin. The society needs not only a revamp, but complete cleansing.
I tell people that I am happy and extremely over joyed to be birthed into a generation where women are implored to not only raise their voice, but to fight for what they want and believe in. So I implore you today, be the woman who is loud and does not bring down her tone in a world that says she should be quiet. Be the woman who raises her voice when the society expects her to bow her head in shame. Be the woman who wears her achievements proudly without fear. YOU ARE BOLD. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. YOU ARE VALUED. YOU ARE APPRECIATED. YOU ARE YOU, AND YOU IS AMAZING.
Okay cupcakes, i call it day for now. Do not forget to leave your comments and contributions. To all my feminists out there, i love you. We would win this battle soon. To every victim out there, you have my hugs and prayers. Ensure you go out with your mask and maintain social distancing. Stay blessed.