You may not understand it, unless you have an experience. The experiences of yesterday are the reality of today. My spirit is a woman's spirit, strong and lively. It may have overcome and can now face the world but many like mine are still trapped, encaged, bittered and zipped. The aftermath produced deep thinkers, determined mindset, loneliness and seeking for a peaceful and secured life. Everyone contributed to that formation and everyone must participate to ensure a desired future.
To close the gap of abuse and insecurity at home and make it safe for girls and women, we need to start "doing"- backup solutions and strategies with actions. We need to be on the issue and set aside conferences without grassroots actions. If the home which should be the safest place for everyone is unsafe for women and girls, then where do we (women and girls) go for succour? When our security is not assured, then we are denied peace because we can't go to sleep with our eyes closed.
When women die giving birth, she is being denied of her safety to give life, when women are battered by intimate partners, where is the security and peace. When one woman is threathen for adding her voice in decision making, many lips will seal. When she must be led by a man to move around freely or must take permission at all times before allowed to join other women, she is denied her freedom of movement and association. I have some form of experience at childhood, teenage and adult. So, when others share theirs, I believe them.
A safe environment is instrumental for breaking patterns of violent behaviour in the society. It allows skill building that enable girls and women communicate, negotiate and develop high self esteem to personal development. A safe home is a fundamental agent for achieving personal growth and leadership. It establishes behaviour patterns that reduce gender based violence in wider society.
Growing up in a yard with so many people, families with more than 5 children in a room or two, men who engage in constant drinking and get drunk, molesting children, taking advantage of children from poor home and practice several immoral acts. Children are left to carter for themselves when they are back from school until their parent returns home from business or work. These situations expose the girl child to abuse, harassment and rape from their neighbours making the home and its environment unsafe. I have an experience that zipped my childhood leaving me lonely, unhappy and troubled. But the movement of sisterhood here, made all the difference and I became free to speak and be heard. Gender Based Violence remains a social and human rights problem that is rooted in social inequalities among men and women. It covers child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, sexual assault, domestic violence, early child marriage, violence at home, female genital mutilation/cutting, forced labor and more. Kidnapping of girls is becoming another angle of violence in recent times which occurs majorly in school like the kidnapping of about 276 girls from government secondary school in the town of Chibok in Borno state by the Boko Haram sect in April 14, 2014.
To improve the safety of girls and women in and around their homes, the voices and experiences of women should be reflect on policies to effectively build and sustain peace, rebuilding their lives, communities and families and mobilizing for justice and equality.
Peace education programmes should be giving priority to enable everyone know the values and preciousness of life. The knowledge helps develop the right attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the natural environment.
The women's spirit is free and flexible when she knows that she is worth more than sparrow. Women truly desire peace and security and can be a strong force in achieving world peace if given the opportunity to be seen and heard.