I have asked myself some probing questions like, why do marriages mostly fail and usually end up in a terrible divorce, why do men feel they are at liberty to beat up their wives when they do wrong, why do the society think it is always fair to exclude women when developmental issues are to be discussed, and why do many in the society feel that women cannot be genuinely helped until they offer their body in return. These I have asked myself several times and still have not gotten to its roots.
There are things that we as individuals of the society know that is wrong but deeply brag about naming it as our culture and heritage and we protect such culture at all cost instead of making a move to correct the mistakes of our past leaders. I believe in culture, but I don’t think it is fair and should be imbibed even when greater ratio of the society is marginalised.
A loud outcry of Nigerian women is heard from the North but deaf ears are the best they always get. It only when a senator assaults a woman that it generates issue of national concern? What about the saying “charity begins at home” don’t the society sit to measure that when some things that supposed to be addressed are neglected, they manage to grow stronger to the level that a preventive measure can no longer be applied. I would say that the rate at which women now kill their husbands is alarming. They are criticised at first but looking deep into the scenario will make us understand that the outcry was not taken by the society as serious which lands them in a state of depression and confusion to do nothing than the anti-vice.
It is time for the society to settle for the truth, embrace the reality and make justice prevail in our dear society and country as a whole because what cannot be tackled at the societal level will be very difficult to resolve when it grows to the national level. The government cannot play a vital role in gender-based violence without the people and local community changing their mentality on violence against women.
Let’s advocate and say no to gender-based violence in Nigeria.
Solomon David Arewa
University of Maiduguri