Love, that inexplicable phenomenon, has held most of its victims captive. They appear so spell-bound that neighbours question if they be under the influence of any divine operation?
People who have encountered it on the periphery, treat issues or cases concerning it with less regard.
Yet, those who at any point in history had fallen victim of its manipulation, either by some supernatural means or by shear fate, will confess, that it is a situation of life that transcends the ordinary.
The scourge of love knows no age boundary, it afflicts the young as well as the old. However, age plays a vital role in the response of each group to the stimulus of love.
To the young at heart, love is deafening and maddening. It intoxicates beyond comprehension, while to some, it tortures and reserves a little of commonsense in them to others, it uses and leaves them completely ravaged.
When under the influence of love, it is most times difficult, extremely difficult to heed to the voice of reason. Even when doom looms in sight, a stronger spirit tells its captive that it is avertable.
To the mature at heart, love can be managed, the victims release their bodies with caution to the rhythm of their tormented spirits. They try as much as possible to control feelings and not let their feelings control them, such are those that come out unhurt while the former get totally ravaged.
The issue of undergoing blood tests before marriages are contracted, is being drummed and trumpeted within and without.: Ordinarily, it is an idea and a development that ought be welcome without reservation because it serves to safe guide one’s future while also guaranteeing such a fulfilling married life, devoid of avertable illness that would eventually cause sorrow all through the life-time of its victims.
Rather than embracing this awesome idea, young ones are instead faulting it by the day, to the detriment of their family joy, what a pity!
We are talking about the couples’ joy while their relationship lasts and I think it is such a crucial issue that must not be treated with levity.
Often times, youths of our time had complained that parents are meddling too much into their personal life. They tend to prove a point that they are of age and so should be left alone to take decisions concerning their welfare as well as their well being.
Guaranteed that the Nigerian constitution provides that at age 18, a child becomes an adult and could be held responsible for his or her actions, yet, at 18, we also know that such a child that had suddenly developed into adulthood by virtue of his/her age is still very, very naïve as far as life lessons are concerned.
Therefore, posterity will not be in a hurry to forgive any parent who fails to guide such ones aright.
The message of tests before marriage contracts are signed must be preached to both the willing and the unwilling minds.
Have we ever considered the trauma of containing sickle cell anaemia, how about the scourage of HIV/AIDS? Perhaps, not enough sermon had been sounded on these burning issues that are capable of keeping us perpetually traumatised.
Our young ones going into marriage relationship must be made to understand that their eventual joy and happiness while they live their life, means a lot to their parents and other relatives who may eventually depend on them for survival.
An unhealthy family does not save money let alone taking care of people who look up to them for one assistance or the other. Apart from not extending to others, they end up most likely constituting a financial problem to their parents and concerned relatives who may not like to fold their arms and watch them suffer such health problem perpetually.
But this situation can be averted, by first ascertaining the genotype as well as the HIV status of would-be spouses. The worst if ever, is that both parties part ways should the result reveal danger. Painful though it may be at the beginning but, such emotional feelings will definitely be suppressed with time. It is better discovered early enough and such relationship aborted when no serious commitments have been made, than to discover it later in the relationship when retrieval becomes very difficult.
We can’t afford to stake the lives of our loved and young ones for momentary joy, it is not worth it. Insist on blood tests before marriage and it shall forever by well with your soul.
‘It Is Time To End Violence Against Women’
While pervasive, gender-based violence may seem to appear inevitable in our own clime, African Women Lawyers, Rivers State Chapter, believe that it can and must be prevented. To them, stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transforming harmful social norms, and empowers women and girls.
With women and girls living in danger around the world owing to conflict, climate-related natural disasters, food insecurity and human rights violations, which in turn exacerbate violence against women, this great body of women lawyers have decided to raise their voice against all shades of violence against women whether it be domestic or official
In pursuant of their aims and objectives, AWLA commemorate land mark dates set by the African Union and United Nations to raise awareness about the plight of women and children.
As the world engages in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the body avails itself the opportunity to highlight some violent and of course harmful practices Nigerian women are continually subjected to, as well as condemn such and create the awareness among the populace that perpetrators of such inhumane acts on a folk that deserves and desires protection in all spheres, will receive a bang of the law.
This year, AwLA is using the window provided by the United Nations via the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, to contribute their own quota especially as it relates to condemning in concrete terms, societal practices that run foul to the healthy development of the women.
Activities outlined in commemorate of the 2021 version of the 16 days of activisms against gender based violence include; advocacy and sensitization visits to Khana Local Government and Oginigba in Obio/Akpor Local Government on 26th and 30th November respectively while free legal clinic takes place in Port Harcourt Local Government on 29th of November.
While the program lasts, stakeholders are expected to brainstorm on how to solve the challenges faced by women, while women will be enlightened on their right as well as be sensitized on how to seek redress.
In a chat with The Tide woman Editor, Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi, the Coordinator of the African Women Lawyers Association, Hilda Desmond-Ihekaire, said her association is quite proactive on issues that bother on women and children’s rights.
She encouraged women to speak out against injustice meted on them by people who are supposed to protect their interest, stating that the era of accepting every awkward treatment against them is over. She enjoined them to avail themselves the opportunity of the free legal clinic provided at this season to vent out their grievances.
The AWLA coordinator revealed that her association is already handling matters of gender based violence in court at the moment and would stop at nothing until the public comes to appreciate that women are also human that should not be treated unjustly.
AWLA is a group of women lawyers with the aim and objective of protecting the right and interest of women and children in Africa. They do this through multi facetted approach, using advocacy, sensitization campaign and probono litigation services on women and children’s issues
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.
By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi
NAWOJ Moves To Check Violence Against Women, Girls … Seeks More Action, Resources
Chairman, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, has called for strengthened actions and resources to address violence against women and girls in the society.
Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, November 25, 2021 to commemorate this year’s 16-Days of Activism, with the theme: ‘Orange the world: End Violence Against Women Now’, the Chairman, NAWOJ, Rivers State Chapter stated that violence against women and girls reached pandemic proportion especially during the COVID-19 hit that resulted to lockdown.
Serekara stressed that as lockdown measures were implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus, violence against women, domestic violence intensified as school closures and economic strains left women and girls poorer, out of school and out of jobs, making them more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, forced marriage, and harassment.
“We believe that ending violence against women will require strengthened actions by the government through more investment in women and girls,” she said, regretting that formal reports of domestic violence have decreased, yet survivors find it harder to seek help and access support through the regular channels. She further noted that the 16 days of activism is an expression that gender-based violence though not inevitable, can and must be prevented.
“While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable – for instance, young girls and teenage girls who are employed as house helps . Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights,” Serekara added.
By: Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
NAWOJ Seeks Adequate Protection, Provision For Children
Aware of the numerous problems children face especially with the current harsh economy of our nation, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State has stressed the need to protect the lives of children while investing in their future.
The association said this during this year’s commemoration of “The Universal Children’s Day”, that had “investing in our children means investing in our future”, as its theme.
This was contained in a statement signed by the association’s Chairman and Secretary, Mrs Susan Serekara-Nwikhana and Dr Ngozi Anosike, respectively.
The statement described the essence of the day as a time to improve the welfare for all children.
“NAWOJ is using this special day to call on governments at all levels to ensure that every child is given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually, while cautioning parents against reproducing the number of children they cannot properly care for but give them out at their tender ages as house helps thereby exposing them to all forms of abuse.
“NAWOJ appreciates the fact that to invest in our nation requires that the child that is hungry is fed, the child that is sick nursed, the child that is backward helped, the delinquent child reclaimed, and the orphan and the unsheltered are secured”.
It commended the Governor of the State, Chief Nyesom Wike for ensuring that the Rehabilitation Centre at Iriebe is operating at optimum capacity.
NAWOJ recalls that during the commissioning of the rehabilitation Centre, Governor Wike magnanimously doled out N250million to the ministry of social welfare, just to ensure regular power supply and smooth running of the facility, a gesture NAWOJ appreciates so much as it translates to giving the children a sense of belonging.
The association also stressed the need to save the lives of new born babies in maternity homes and hospitals and called on Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company to as a matter of necessity ensure regular power supply to those facilities.
The association in the statement regretted the death of premature children in the Intensive Care Unit of OPM Free Hospital at Aluu axis of the State as a result of power outage.
“Universal Children’s Day, celebrated annually on the 20th of November, is not just a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to children that have experienced violence in forms of abuse, exploitation, and discrimination”, the statement added.
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