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Ending Violence Against Women (II) … Some Practices That Constitute Violence

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Harmful traditional/customary practices – These are · Customary discrimination in property inheritance and acquisition.

· Harmful widowhood practices – for example, shaving of head, wearing of mourning clothes (black), not bathing with water and soap for some period of time, drinking bath water of late husband. These are inhuman, degrading and humiliating treatments and sometimes the widow is not allowed to remarry the person of her choice.

· Female genital mutilation/cutting – A harmful practice which lowers the self-esteem of women and the girl child and causes great pain and ill health medically. The reason for this is based on the idea the inferiority or superiority of the sexes or stereotyped roles for men and women as prescribed by custom.

· Early/child marriages or forced marriages – this is prominent in the Northern part of Nigeria (Hausas) were marriage to a minor or pre-adolescent girls are considered lawful i.e. girls who have not started menstruation are allowed to marry which pose health problems to these married children. Happily, in recent times the trend is moving toward a more acceptable standard.

· Customary ideas of divorce, separation or annulment of marriage-traditionally a girl child is given out in marriage on sale, so to speak. She is bound to endure all forms of despicable treatment that could be meted on her by her husband in her matrimonial home with little or no choice of a divorce or separation. Even under extreme physical or emotional abuse (wife beating, adultery willful non supported is proved against the husband, some customs prohibit the women from separation or divorce. She is considered a chattel (goods or property) of her husband to be used and dropped at will without equal right of the woman to do so. While not undermining the advantages of a lasting marriage, we say that this is abuse and violation of the woman’s right as prescribed for and protected even by our creator and originator of marriage, Jehovah God.

·           Discrimination and preference of boy child over the girl child.

Lack of Education/Training – a research statistics has it that over 110 million of the world’s children, two thirds of them girls, are not in school. And of the world’s 875 million illiterate adults, two thirds are women.

Illiteracy among women and girl children is alarming. Traditionally, it is the girl child who is allowed to remain at home to help their mother while the boys go to school and play thereafter. Educating a girl child was once viewed as a waste of resources. So while the girl child is engaged in domestic activities at home with her mother for the benefit of the whole family, the boys are schooled receiving formal education. For example, in the legal profession, we have very few women competing with the men, reason being that the profession was once viewed and believed to be a man’s thing. This situation plays itself out even in this 21st century where we still see and hear even mothers at home assigning domestic chores to their girl children because it is as they say a girl’s work. Seeing a man cook, shop and clean the home is regarded as a letdown. He is often called a woman’s wrapper, or one who has been bewitched by his wife.

The list is endless.

Effects On Women

The sad outcome of some of these cases of violence against women results to-

·           All forms of discrimination against women

·           Poverty which impoverishes them.

·           Lack of confidence and trust on the society

·           Loss of dignity-one dictionary defines dignity as the quality or state of being worthy, honored or esteemed. Human dignity therefore involves both the way we view ourselves and the way others deal with us. While there are a variety of factors that can affect our feelings about ourselves, the way others view or treat us plays a large role in our sense of personal value in our day to day life. While women have been identified to fall into the poor, defenseless and vulnerable group, being in such circumstances does not necessarily diminish their sense of personal dignity, it is the attitude and reaction of others that constitutes an affront to their dignity.

· Women suffer inequality and marginalization at the workplace and are disempowered and impoverished and cannot participate in public life.

· Even with multiplicity of legal instruments, because enforcement has not commenced from the home and communities, women continue to suffer in silence with little way out.

· Women are in grief because no one seems to hear their cry for help due to the culture of silence promoted by our customs or traditions.

· Women become targets and objects of all sorts of physical and emotional abuse, exploitation, objects of fear and shame in the society.

·  Part of health problems

· Children at risk of health problems, performance/and behavioral problems.

Recommendations

·           Support the campaign to end violence against women by speaking up any where you can be heard.

· Help to bring perpetrator to account.

·  Support FIDA to give voice to the passenger of meaningful laws that will ensure and implement the rights of the women/child help. The implementation by not being a victim yourself.

· Partner with us in our sensitization workshop, trainings, and advocacy from time to time.

· Support to disseminate positive information about our campaigns and educate the public through the mass media when necessary.

· Our husbands, fathers, uncles, brothers and mothers, stop the exploitation of your sisters, mothers, wives and daughters but support their roles as women.

· Above all love for others will help us to apply the counsel of our Lord Jesus Christ who once said in the Holy Bible – “do to others you will want them do to you”.

 

Boma Kingson Enyingwa

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Women

Looking Trendy In African Prints

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Fashion is dynamic as it changes with time. It can be St Michaels today and changes to Zara tomorrow. The next two or more years another guru can come up to take over the trending world.
Those who are in love with fashion always follow the trend. They want to appear trendy always. They are normally interested in every new design. Sometimes other necessities of life may matter to them as fashion will keep them going.
Fashion covers a wide range of fabrics. It just depends on the kind of fabrics anyone would love to go for.
It is important you know what kind of fashion you go for. Are you a jeans lover. Handbags and jewelries to match your dressing matte a lot. Colours of jackets and shoes that will go with ones personality also matter when it concerns fashion.
If you like being trendy, you need to know your brands. Each fashion designer will like to make sure they release new items once in a while to keep her customers abreast of the newest in town.
It may be difficult to keep track of all the fashion you see in the market of shop. It is better to make your selection and forgo other that may not suit you at that time.
It is necessary to follow fashion shows. All over the world today, various fashion shows take place in many cities at different time annually. Both fashion designers and their clients can see how to mix and match their outfits when they visit fashion homes.
In the years past, Ankara or African print was used as only wrappers by women. But nowadays, print can be used by ladies for shirts/blouses and even gowns. It is used for trousers and tops depending on the style in vogue.

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Women

Women And Equal Representation In Society

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Women’s full and equal participation in all facets of society is a fundamental human right. Yet, within our communities, states and Nigeria at large and in fact the world over from politics to entertainment to the workplace, women and girls are largely under-represented.
When we take a closer look at this gender sensitivity over time, it clearly shows it has been imbalance.
Perhaps due to culture, norms and traditions, the consequences are far-reaching with detrimental and negative consequences on the personal, economic and future well-being of women and girls, their families and the community at large.
Building a sustainable future for all, means leaving no one behind. Women and girls are critical to finding solutions to the biggest challenges we face today and must be heard, valued and celebrated throughout society to reflect their perspectives and choices for their future and that of their families and society at large.
How many more generations are needed for women and girls to realise their rights? Women must begin to demand equal rights and opportunities for all folks.
Politically, women’s representation globally has doubled in the last 25 years. But, this only amounts to around one in four parliamentary seats held by women today.
Women continue to be significantly under-represented in the highest political positions. In October 2019, there were only 10 women Heads of State and 13 women Heads of Government across 22 countries, compared with four Heads of State and eight Prime Ministers across 12 countries in 1995.
At workplace, about two years ago, out of the 500 chief executives leading the highest-grossing firms, just under 7 per cent are women. Thank goodness, our own Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the current Director-General of the World Trade Organisation {WTO).
When looking at the workforce as a whole, the gender gap in labour force participation among prime working age adults (25 to 54) has stagnated over the past 20 years. Improved education among women has done little to shift deeply entrenched occupational segregation in developed and developing countries. Women continue to carry out a disproportionate share of unpaid care and domestic work. Women and girls are responsible in 80 per cent of households that do not have access to gender-sensitivity. Women and girls have little time for rest and sleep. If you allow them, they will work for 24 hours non-stop.
Annually, recognition of intellectual achievements and academic, cultural and scientific advances, the Nobel Prize has been awarded to more than 900 individuals in the course of its history from 1901 to 2019. Only 53 of the winners have been women, 19 in the categories of Physics, Chemistry, and Physiology or Medicine. Marie Curie became the first female laureate in 1903, when she and her husband won a joint Prize for Physics. Eight years later, she was solely awarded the Chemistry Prize, making her the only woman in history to win the Nobel Prize twice. Although women have been behind a number of scientific discoveries throughout history, just 30 per cent of researchers worldwide and 35 per cent of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study are women.
When it comes to equality of men and women in news media, progress has not been encouraging. According to reports,  participation and representation of women in the news media for about two decades in many countries, only 24 per cent of the persons heard, read about or seen in newspaper, television and radio news are women. A lot of improvement has been recorded for women news reporters in newspaper bylines and newscast reports, with 37 per cent of stories reported by women as of 2015, showing little difference over a decade. Despite the democratising promise of digital media, women’s poor representation in traditional news media is also reflected in digital news, with women making up only 26 per cent of the people in Internet news stories and media news tweets. Only 4 per cent of traditional news and digital news stories clearly challenge gender stereotypes. Among other factors, stereotypes and the significant under-representation of women in the media play a significant role in shaping harmful attitudes of disrespect and violence towards women.
If you talk about entertainment industry, like other forms of media, film and television have a powerful influence in shaping cultural perceptions and attitudes towards gender and are key to shifting the narrative for the gender equality agenda. Yet, an analysis of popular films across 11 countries found, for example, that 31 per cent of all speaking characters were women and that only 23 per cent featured a female protagonist, a number that closely mirrored the percentage of women filmmakers.
The gross under-representation of women in the film industry is also glaringly evident in critically acclaimed film awards: In the 92-year history of the Oscars, only five women have ever been nominated for the Best Director Award category; and one woman, Kathryn Bigelow has ever won.
A lot of women in Nigeria, like Liz Benson, Eucharia Anunobi, Patience Ozokwo, Joke Silva, Monalisa Chinda, to mention but a few, have done well in the entertainment industry. But we need more women in film, on-screen and off-screen.
In sports, the power to inspire change and break gender stereotypes is possible and women have been doing just that decade after decade, showing that they are just as capable, resilient and strong as men physically.
Today, women are far more visible in sports than ever before: The Tokyo 2020 Olympics is projected to have close to equal representation of women and men competing for the first time in its history. For comparison, only 22 women (2.2 per cent) out of a total of 997 athletes competed in the modern Olympics for the first time in 1900. Women and men will compete in almost all sports categories.
Chioma Ajunwo and Mary Onyeali are some of the sportswomen in Nigeria we can talk about when it comes to excellence.
Despite progress, women still continue to be excluded in certain sports in parts of the world and are paid far less than men in wages and prize money globally. Women need to be encouraged more in sports like the men.
Despite women being prescribed stereotypical roles in the kitchen at home, the upper echelons of the restaurant industry have remained relatively closed to female chefs Women must often overcome active discrimination and move away from a culture that both glorifies masculinity and tacitly condones harassment. Paired with long, unpredictable and inflexible working hours, unfriendly family and childcare policies and lower salaries, women face enormous challenges when entering the restaurant business. Women need to be in control of hospitality business as chefs..

By: Eunice Choko-Kayode

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Women

Ondo Women Protest Half-Naked Over Insecurity

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Hundreds of women across four local government areas in Ondo State on Saturday protested against worsening security challenges in the area.
The women, who took to the streets of Oka Akoko, Akungba Akoko and some other Akoko towns, demanded improved security from the state and federal government.
Recent spate of insecurity in the area include abduction of teachers by gunmen in Auga Akoko, the killing of a police officer at Oka Akoko last week, and the attack on 17 travellers on Ifira Akoko-Isua Akoko road by armed robbers among others.
Some of the protesters, who held brooms, were half-naked and chanting various solidarity songs along the streets.
Recall that Amotekun Corps also arrested no fewer than 17 suspected bandits from the North-West of Nigeria when they stormed Okitipupa area of the state.
The suspected criminals were found with dogs, cutlasses and charms as they wandered in the area without purpose.
It was the distress call by residents of the community to Amotekun operatives that led to their arrest.

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