Do you know that somewhere today in Nigeria:
1. A childless woman is on a mountain top, starving from a forced fast, being whipped to deliver her from the fake spirit husband that has tied her womb.
2. A wife is being sent home in disgrace by her husband for giving birth to “only girls” and even her fellow female sister in-laws are “championing the course”. Yet it’s the man’s chromosomes that determines the sex of a child.
3. A 16 year girl is expelled from school for being pregnant while the boy that got her pregnant is schooling.
4. A 11 year old girl is being married off to a 65 year old “grandfather” because she saw her period last month
5. A 16 year old girl is being trafficked off to Italy for prostitution by her aunt.
6. A 10 year old girl is sobbing on the verandah as she watches her brothers go to school while she’s sent to the streets to hawk
7. A 17 year old’ secondary school graduate is being told to forget about that JAMB form because too much education is not good for women.
8. A gateman is telling his single female boss “I have your type at home” just because she is a woman.
9. A 12 year old girl is being sent far away to another form of “urban city slavery” as a househelp.
10. A man is panel-beating his wife for not serving him a glass of water on a tray.
11. Religious leaders are luring little girls into the office to fondle their privates.
13. A doctor is telling a desperate teenager he has to have sex with her before performing the abortion.
14. A stepfather is telling a 15 year old to shut up and cooperate for a forced s*x or she will be driven out of the house
15. An Oga Madam is having pepper rubbed in the vagina of an innocent Nanny because she burnt dinner or broke a plate.
16. A 13 year old hawker is being raped in the corner of a mechanic workshop. Her assaulter won’t even bother to pay for her oranges afterwards. She will get up crying, wear her rags, dry her eyes and keep on hawking. Because she dare not return home empty-handed. No excuses. Even rape.
17. The cold body of a battered wife is refrigerated in the mortuary because her culture and religion forbids divorce. She rather die than shame the family.
18. A 16 year old girl is lying under a tree in a pool of her own urine. She has been driven out of her husbands house after her third pregnancy made her a victim of VVF. Now she begs for a living.
20. A woman is being sentenced to death by stoning for prostitution. No mention of the men she prostituted with.
21. A widow is being tormented for killing her husband that she sold her life earnings to seek cure for the cancer that killed him.
This is happening in Nigeria and its a reality.
We’ve made some progress on girl child rights, but not enough.
The cultural, societal and religious obstacles to girl child rights in Nigeria is man made and it will take a man to stop it.
Girls deserve an equal opportunity to life, love and to have a say in their own destinies.
We must condemn and say NO to anything that demeans or abuses a woman.