GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRL-CHILD IN NIGERIA
March 18, 2011 at 11:17 AM
GENDER BASED VIOLENCE AGAINST GIRL-CHILD IN NIGERIA Nigerian women suffer various forms of violence mostly owning to the patriarchal nature of the Nigerian society. The different forms of violence against women in Nigeria includes, but is not limited to: domestic violence (e.g.) wife battering and verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, marital rape?; sexual exploitation and harassment especially in academic institutions, corporate organizations and in police custody; rape; trafficking; forced prostitution; forced marriage; widowhood rites; and female genital mutilation among others. About one-third of every woman in Nigeria has at one time or the other been victim of violence in its diverse form-violence against women is mostly perpetrated by husbands, fathers and relatives (basically people known to the women who suffer the violence) it is further reinforced by the culture of silence about violence against women especially the domestic type and other types perpetrated by family members. Most women are not aware of the fact that an act of violence against them is a form of human rights violation. Some who are aware are afraid of stigma and, consequently, they tolerate violence and suffer in silence. Most cultural and traditional belief systems of the various ethnic groups in Nigeria assign and inferior role to women and further promote violence against women. As there are no laws on some very prominent forms of violence against women, most acts of violence against women are justified on the grounds of some women’s actions or in actions. The story of a particular girl in Oyo State confirmed the fact that gender violence against women in Nigeria shows that there are insurmountable problems faced by women in Nigeria. A girl of 17years old was forced into marriage by a man of 53years of age. During their staying together as husband and wife. The man always beat the girl even while she was pregnant and will lock her inside the house for days many times. Eventually the girl gave birth to a baby girl in this man’s house. While the girl was beaten, non of the neighbours could come to the rescue of this girl because they were afraid of the man. In one of the days, the girl met with her family who told the girls father about the odes of this girl. The father of the girl came to take the girl out by force together with her baby. After some years the husband of the 17years old girl came to take his child by force from the father of his wife. The same way the man treated the wife he also treated his daughter. The man will beat the girl – his own daughter and lock the girl in the house several times without food. One day the girl found her way out of where she was locked and beg a neighbour to give her N20 to eat which the neighbour did. When the father of this girl came and saw her outside, he asked the girl how she managed to come out and who gave her money to eat. The girl told him about the neighbor that assisted her, thinking that her father will not do anything. But to surprise the man took her to the room, tied her legs and hands and started beating her. The man left her in the room for several days until the legs became swollen up and the girl could not walk on her legs again. When the neighbours could not bear the cry of these girl again they went and called the girls mother who had divorced the father. By the time the girl was taken to the police for intervention the girls legs had decayed and had to be amputated in the hospital. Up till the time of writing this story the girl had never been to school at the age of 12years and she has never been given any opportunity of learning any trade by this cruel father. Customarily people believe that father is the owner of his children that is the more reason while the neighbours could not do anything until the issue got out of hand. Now the girl’s legs had been amputated coupled with her illiteracy while her mates are in school. The girl has been left redundant before the story got to us as a community organization.