Temie Giwa: “Motherhood is a death sentence for many women in Nigeria” (YNaija Frontpage)

The leadership in its infinite uselessness refuses to pass laws or create policies that might safeguard the lives of Nigerian women…

The lives of women in Nigeria prove increasingly difficult day by day, and as a woman who happens to be Nigerian, I am especially bothered by that state of things. There is the horror of motherhood, the incredibly high rates of sexual assault and violence against women and girls, and the lack of access to sexual reproductive health services. Believe it or not, the rates of female genital mutilation are so high that one wonders what century some parts of Nigeria still wallow in.

The leadership in its infinite uselessness refuses to pass laws or create policies that might safeguard the lives of Nigerian women; instead they spend their time terrorizing people who are different and starting completely idiotic and obviously useless projects. I am tired of reading about archaic laws and terrifying stories of the lives of women in Nigeria. It is exhausting and I want it to stop.  Check out this video, it shows a man violently beating up a grown woman with many people looking on.

 

Violence

In Nigeria, “more than two thirds of Nigerian women are believed to experience physical, sexual and psychological abuse in their homes. More than 50 percent say they have experienced domestic violence at the hands of their husbands.” This is the world we are creating! What sorts of children will those 50% of women raise? Girls who think that it is okay for a loved one to abuse them? Boys who think it’s their right to terrorize their significant others? What Nigeria will we have in 10 years? 20? 50? What sort of men are we raising when 50% of Nigerian women claim to have violence heaped on them regularly?

 

Motherhood

Motherhood is a death sentence for many women in Nigeria. It is a death sentence for 59,000 Nigerian women every year. 50,000 women plus another 9,000 still die during pregnancy and childbirth. Compare that to the fact that in Sweden there were zero deaths reported between 2006 and 2011. I repeat zero deaths. This disparity is mind-boggling, one wonders why it seems like rocket science for the Nigerian health system to create an environment where mothers aren’t sentenced to death just because they are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that our species live on.  We all know at least one woman who died in childbirth. The 59,000 are real women, with real lives.

 

Female Genital Mutilation

Photo credit: AfricaW

 

What shows the value of a society is how it treats its poor and vulnerable and Nigeria fails miserably. Imagine that thousands of Nigerian men get their penises chopped without anesthesia or clean equipment. I charge you to imagine that this procedure has no health reason or need. Virtually all-ethnic groups in the country still do this and the reason they give is to prevent girls from enjoying their sexuality and because it is their culture. A recent story of this horror is highlighted HERE. It is horrid and terrifying. The worst part is that this practice is perfectly legal in 31 states in the country and there is no national law against it.

 

There are various ways in which the lives of women in Nigeria is denoted by quiet everyday horror and we aren’t paying attention to the time bomb we are collectively building.

However, I must note some good news. Lagos State is making strides in criminalizing domestic violence, and Ondo state is also working hard on maternal health. If you’d like to help women extricate themselves out of horrifying family lives, read this and learn how you can help. If you’d like make motherhood sweet again, go here to learn how you can give blood. If you’d like to end female genital mutilation, send an email to this address and join the movement.

 

I believe that everyone is powerful and that we can do something to change things. Take a step and show that this generation is different. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One comment

  1. MY GOODNESS! TEMIE GIWA, YOU JUST PENNED LETTERS TO THOUGHTS THAT HAVE OCCUPIED MY MIND FOR AWHILE NOW. MY HEART REACHES OUT MORE TO FEMALES WHO HAVE BEEN ABUSED, MOLESTED AND RAPED. I'D LIKE TO VOLUNTEER WITH AN NGO OR PROJECT/MOVEMENT IF ANY WITHIN NIGERIA. PLEASE SEND ME A LINK, OR REACH ME ON TWITTER @chiomaEN. Gracias.

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