I AM EVERYWOMAN

Austina
Posted December 14, 2016 from Nigeria

I come from a community called Etsako in South South Nigeria. My family is a polygamous one and polygamy is quite prevalent amongst my tribesmen. A major concern I have is for the girls of marriageable age in my community who are made to go through the rites womanhood also known as female genital mutilation. Although, there are Federal legislatures outlawing the practice, mothers still largely promote it by emotionally blackmailing their daughters into submitting to the practice with veiled threats of difficulty during childbirth and due to poverty, a lot of the girls who are still largely dependent on their families for support, surrender themselves though unwillingly, in most recent cases. I refused to partake and was successful in my bid because I was already a working class woman in my thirties when I had my first child. However, a lot of these girls lack the wherewithal to do same, I believe that providing these girls with the necessary skills and tools for empowerment and financial freedom will reduce the influence of their parents or family in pressuring them to succumb to this barbaric practice. I have been able to convince at least two ladies to walk away from the practice and though there is the risk of being outcasted from the community, I know that with proper awareness, in a matter of a few years, the practice will die a natural death. We would also be needing a safehouse where the girls can run to and a vocational center where they can learn skills that would make them economically independent. I am presently an author and working on my second novel. I am a 40 year old single mother of one residing in Lagos, Nigeria.

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E.K
Jul 24, 2017
Jul 24, 2017

Greetings Austina, 

I am inspired by the work you are doing in Nigeria, helping girls and women break away from such a harmful practice.

My close friends runs a similar organization here in Kenya which was recognized by President Obama when he visited the country. Please check out their website and the how they do it- similar to what your initiative plus it wI'll give ideas on how to initiate and maintain a safe house for your girls: 

http://www.samburugirls.foundation/s.

Best wishes!

Edna.

Founder & CEO,

We Shape.