In the history of Nigeria till date, the freest and fairest election according to history was conducted on this day, June 12, 1993.
The whole nation trooped down in their hundreds and thousands to cast their vote for their ideal candidates, although the election was rendered inconclusive due to the annulment. Nevertheless, the Hope ’93; Farewell to Poverty was the song everyone chewed.
From Abeokuta, Ogun State to Epetedo, Lagos state to Onitsha, Bauchi, Anambra, Ibadan, Kano, Sokoto even down to Bashir Tofa’s hometown; the rainbow that adorned the sky was M.K.O Abiola’s gospel of free education, better healthcare system, freedom of expression amongst others.
The excitement of Nigerians would later become a thing of shock when the then military government led by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida annulled the election.
This singular act ushered our beloved country into a cacophony of sorrow.
Later, that same year was power taken over by another military government led by Gen. Sanni Abacha who threw the common man’s Hope into confinement for four years with just a Bible, a Qur’an and 14 soldiers because of the proclamation in Epetedo, Lagos State where Abiola declared himself president.
Although, May 29 was the day the military officially handed over power but it is evident that the spirit behind June 12 can never be underestimated, it shows the real struggles for democracy. It shows the sincerity of our leaders to build a better nation, it shows mental awareness created.
We should remember today and every other day the line of our national anthem,
“…the labour of our leaders past shall never be in vain”.
We should remember all those that lay their lives down for the democracy we tread upon. We should remember the bloods and sweats of comrades that looked tyranny in the face and claimed for us democracy.
We should remember today as the day our nation opened its eyes to Hope.
ODEBODE, KARIMOT OLABISI
November 25th of every year marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women around the world plus it's 16 days activism, and this year is no different, as the United Nations launched the 2020 UNiTE Campaign themed; "Orange the world: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!". A campaign geared towards the eradication of GBV, which is deeply rooted in gender inequalities.
Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, Gender-based Violence (GBV) has been a rather disturbing and heartbreaking issue, with organisations, countries and activists continually putting measures in place to combat it. World Health Organization estimated that, "Globally, 1 in every 3 women have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly perpetrated by an intimate partner". UN women estimated that in the past 12 months prior to COVID-19 pandemic, 243 million women and girls aged 15-49 years were subjected to sexual and/or physical violence carried out by intimate partner". This data has only increased following the COVID-19 pandemic owing to strict lockdown measures imposed by the government to curtail the spread of the disease.
Nigeria is not left out from the horrors of GBV as a study commissioned by the Ministry of Women's Affairs and social development in conjunction with UNPFA(United Nations Population Fund) Nigeria, with support from the Norwegian Government, revealed that 28% of Nigerian women aged 25-29 have experienced some form of physical violence since age 15.
During the lockdown, there were reported cases of a surge in domestic violence especially in regions with strict lockdown measures, like Lagos, Ogun States and the Federal Capital Territory. The recorded increase by the International Growth Centre (IGC) showed that in these 3 states, an increase of 297% was seen, which showed a rapid rise from 60 in March to 238 cases in April. In states with less strict lockdown measures, like Benue, Ebonyi, etc, an increase of only 53% was recorded.
It should be recalled that during this period, the media was also replete with gory news of rape and murder, and one such prominent one was the rape and murder of 22 years old Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, an 100L student of UNIBEN. Also, the rape and murder of 18 years old Barakat Bello shortly after. 29 years old Azeezat Shomiyiwa and 21 years old Grace Oshiagwu also suffered similar fates not too long after. And the demoralizing stories continued.
In a statement released by UN President and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edwin Kallon, he revealed that, "3 of every 10 women have experienced physical, sexual, economic,of psychosocial violence because of their gender". He further stated that, "Though these 3 women knew their perpetrator, only one of them knew about health support available, and only one would approach the justice system as the other two are shameful, and would not speak out of the fear of stigma from community, family, and friends who might place the blame on them for 'not being more careful' or for 'dressing improperly'".
Gender-based Violence occurs in various forms such as; sexual violence, psychological violence, stalking, forced marriage, child marriage, female genital mutilation, intimte partner violence, homicide and domestic abuse, dating violence, amongst many others. GBV following the COVID-19 pandemic, is known to be equally as damaging, with a lasting consequence on social and all-round development. Hence, the need to combat the crippling ill before it extinguishes the entire human race.
Society and traditions also have a role to play in GBV as reports have shown that despite the adoption of the United Nation's Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in 1985, as well as policies like National Gender Policy of 2006, inequality stills remains yet to be tackled. This is largely due to unhelpful cultural and structural practises that greatly marginalize women's participation in all spheres of life. This, without a doubt, has influenced the surge in GBV as women are mostly viewed as citizens whose voices do not deserve to be heard, and some traditions and societal rul go as far as giving women barbaric titles such as"properties of husbands", hence should be disciplined in whatever form should any wrongdoing arise. Julia Godunova, the Deputy Head of the Board of the Eurasian Women's Network on AIDS, spoke about studies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that shows that more than 79% of women who survived violence do not seek help because of perceived shame. Aisha Alhassan, the former Minister of Women's Affair, further alluded to this "perceived shame" or "silence culture" in a statement released during a news briefing in Abuja to mark the 16 days of activism to end violence against women and girls. She stated that, "women and girls may suffer violent acts in household and within the family which could be habituated by socio-cultural attitudes and traditions".
GBV is a grievious crime against humanity and a grave infringement on the human rights of women and young girls. This heinous act is not restricted to only offline violence but has over the years extended to online violence (more prominent following the COVID-19 pandemic) and appears in the forms of; online bullying, cyberstalking, hate speech, defamation, public shaming, sex trolling, zoom bombing, amongst many others. While men are also victims of online violence, it rapidly becomes sexualized hate or threats where women are concerned. This merely shows the deeply-entrenched gender inequalities in our society.
GBV in Nigeria prior to COVID-19 pandemic, has been heralded by a lack of or inadequate coordination amongst stakeholders, poor implementation of legal policies, etc which has hampered government and civil society efforts to address gender based violence. The little efforts put to combat GBV have been further impaired following the lockdown measures carried out to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. This made survivors unable to access centres and shelters, leaving them to depend on the "little" help from hotlines to receive support. Also, the mobilization of police unit in enforcing lockdown, led to shrinking capacity to respond to calls for help. Postponement of court proceedings have also gravely contributed to the surge in GBV, as protection (of victims) and restraining orders against perpetrators were absent, leaving the victims to live in perpetual fear.
Closure of schools also increased the incidence of child marriages and teenage pregnancies, especially in areas where girl child education is undervaluer, as families were forced to make sacrifices by marrying off their daughters to alleviate economic constraints.
There is a no gainsaying that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to bury the little progress made in tackling GBV. Nevertheless, Nigeria must take constructive and deliberate efforts to promote a more gender inclusive society, where the rights of women and girls are protected and equal opportunities for all is upheld.
Also, conscious efforts should be made in documenting data and fostering transparency on GBV, in order to bring to light the grave impact of this crippling ill on societal development.
Government should also place priorities on women and girls right by funding women's right organizations, through the Ministry of Women's Affairs to allow for swift response and better help provision to victims and/or survivors.
Government should unceasingly mount pressure on all States to embrace and implement the Violence Against Persons Prohibitions Act, a policy enacted in 2015 in response to the long standing problem of gender based violence in Nigeria. Currently, only 16 out of 36 states have adopted legislation needed to implement the VAPP ACT. This is not good enough as State-level remains critical in tackling GBV. State laws will provide the legal support needed to punish the perpetrators of the act as well as provide support to victims or survivors in whatever means necessary.
Furthermore, public education on "silencing the 'hush-hush' culture", by speaking up should be preached both offline and online with a strict adherence to the promise on anonymity, amongst others.
State and Federal tasks force and legal system should be charged with the honourable responsibility on tackling GBV through prevention and protection(of victims) and punishment of offenders.
The health sector plays an important role and must be fully equipped, have skilled health workers at the forefront of handling GBV cases in the aspect of adequate care of victims, reliability on timely response and collection of GBV evidence.
Most importantly, we should all remember that the fight against gender inequality belongs to us all and the subjugation of one gender should be abhorred. Irrespective of gender, class, race or creed, we should all come together to eradicate this social ill from our society and the world at large.
#Say "NO" to GBV
My question goes thus; if males are circumcised, then why shouldn’t females be circumcised, after all they propagate gender equality in all sense. The question was accompanied with people murmuring and conceding to the point he just made. One could see the dismayed look on the speaker on the type of question the student asked.
Well, male circumcision and female circumcision are quite different because of the anatomical structures. The male circumcision involves the removal of foreskin while female circumcision involves the removal of the clitoris which stimulates nerve endings. It’s not a gender based equality fight. I hope that quite answers your question. The speaker answered.
Any other questions bothering you, feel free to ask.
Isn’t it just a clitoris, so what if the clitoris is removed? Is there a medical effect in any sense? Does it stop urine or period?
It’s a part of the anatomical structure of the female reproductive system, Clitoris can be likened to the male organ that stimulate nerve endings and enhances pleasure. It’s a violation of the human right on one’s body to remain unharmed, and unscarred. The medical effects are in various forms from use of unsterilized instruments, uncontrollable bleeding , and infection, The statement “It has more harm than good in the case of genital mutilation holds no water. It basically has all harm and no good.
And now, we’ve come to the end of the question and answer segment, I sincerely hope we’ve done justice to the individual questions and you’re more enlightened on the subject of Female Genital Mutilation. So go ye into your various local communities and start enlightening them on the danger of genital mutilation. The speaker concluded.
The Stand to End Female Genital Mutilation initiative conceived by JCIUI (Junior Chamber International University of Ibadan Chapter) to create awareness on genital mutilation and sensitize people on dangers inherent in the practice witnessed a massive turn around by the students. The various questions asked, the silent albeit loud whispering, brought one transient detail into limelight, “IGNORANCE” supposedly from people who are being educated in the four walls of the school. If people supposedly receiving knowledge in character and learning are that clueless and unaware, then what hope do the unlearned people who are neither enlightened, have no opportunities to, lack basic education about female gender mutilation?
Read: Twin Sisters Impregnated by Same man in Akwa Ibom Dedicate Children
Some individuals don’t even know what a Clitoris is, its importance and why it should exist. One could hear the silent albeit loud whispers of a girl saying “What is a clitoris? And how do I know if I have clitoris or not, or it has been circumcised”
The events unfolding revealed a lot about the true ignorance the students possess and their justification of this self-possessed ignorance. How then do we expect these students to properly create awareness, sensitize the local communities on dangers inherently associated with genital mutilation? Ignorance is no bliss. It’s not okay not to know, but it starts getting better when one truly seeks out to know more. Here’s to fully sensitize the youth to know more about FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).
Female Genital Mutilation is a global issue commonly practiced in Africa and Middle East. According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, one in four women, aged between 15 – 49 years has been circumcised. FGM is hugely practiced in local communities. In Yoruba, it is called “Di dabe fun omo obinrin”, in ibo, it is “Ibi Nwanyi Ugwu” while in Hausa, it is “Kaciyan mata”.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a social norm and tradition that has prevailed over the years. According to World Health Organization (WHO) it includes all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the External Female Genitalia for cultural or non-medical reasons. FGM is also commonly called Female circumcision but however does not fully explain the act; thus leading to another question;
This includes the reproductive part of the female body. It includes the outer lips (labia majora), inner lips (labia minora) and the clitoris, a small and sensitive organ on top of the inner lips.
The long term effects of include:
Nigeria Society of Physiotherapy (NSP) is the embodiment of Physiotherapists in Nigeria, is a member of the World confederation for Physical Therapy (WCPT) and a leading member of the WCPT Africa Region (WCPTA). Physical therapy addresses the illnesses or injuries that limit a person's abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. PTs use an individual's history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and establish a management plan and, when necessary, incorporate the results of laboratory and imaging studies like X-rays, CT-scan, or MRI findings. PT management commonly includes prescription of or assistance with specific exercises, manual therapy, and manipulation, mechanical devices such as traction, education, electrophysical modalities which include heat, cold, electricity, sound waves, radiation, assistive devices, prostheses, orthoses, and other interventions. In addition, PTs work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility before it occurs by developing fitness and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles, providing services to individuals and populations to develop, maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan. This includes providing treatment in circumstances where movement and function are threatened by aging, injury, disease, or environmental factors. Functional movement is central to what it means to be healthy.
With all the explanations given above about physiotherapy, mind you lets not forget about what Body Physiotherapy entails.
Body physiotherapy is defined as the treatment of problems of the muscles, joints, or nerves, especially using exercises or by rubbing or moving the affected body parts. Mind you there different types of body physiotherapy functioning for different parts of the body and this includes: sport physiotherapy, rehabilitation and pain management. The best among them all is orthopedic physiotherapy.
Therefore, the 5 facts about Body physiotherapy in Nigeria are listed below:
Physical therapy can not only relieve pain, but completely reverse some conditions or stop them from progressing, eliminating the need for surgery. For many patients, the thought of surgery is overwhelming; it can be expensive, uncomfortable and inconvenient, especially when an extended recovery period is required.
Physiotherapists can play a role in educating client about weight lost by assessing and planning an exercise program which focuses on energy expenditure modification through exercise. Fitness is also associated with more desirable clinical outcomes in many instances
Non-surgical/drug free treatment physiotherapy is a medical treatment for the problems of joints, muscles or nerves by physical methods such as massage, heat treatment, exercise rather than drugs or surgery.
They participate in global health work beyond direct patient care, including advocating for and developing rehabilitation programmes.
Physiotherapists supports people at all stages of life to recover from injury, reduce pain and stiffness and maximize function and quality of life, incorporating physical, psychological, emotional and social well being.