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Woman Injustice Against Woman


By: Deborah Phillips

So many times I ask myself why a woman will derive pleasure in humiliating her fellow woman but cant seems to find an answer to my question.

Of recent, I saw a campaign against widow’s maltreatment in Nigeria led by a famous actor cum politician, Desmond Elliot and his counterpart Mercy Aigbe. Again I ask the question, who is maltreating the widows? According to the actor cum politician, “we live in a society where women are blamed each time a man dies. But no one ever thinks of the pain they have to bear in bringing up the children left behind”.

In Nigeria, especially in the eastern part of the country where these barbaric traditions are being practiced, they will tell you it’s their tradition and it must be respected. Am not disputing the fact that traditions should be respected but who are those carrying out those traditions? Are they the Christians or Moslems that have renounced those traditions and claiming to embrace a religion that teaches peace or the same traditionalists?

If a man dies, a woman is subjected to sleep in the same room with the dead body and even forced to drink from the water used in bathing the corpse. Yet, if a woman dies the man is never subjected to any tradition. Not even if there are clear evidences pointing at the husband as the killer.

Paraphrasing the words of a prolific writer Aondover Eric Msughter in his book titled Tears of Destiny; the author articulated that woman injustice against woman is the bigoted treatment of a woman by a fellow woman which enveloped to their humiliation.

Women, when are we going to wake up from our slumber? When are we going to stop humiliating ourselves? When a man dies its either the mother or the sisters that points accusing fingers at the wife and they are even the pioneers to execute the traditions. Yet, we say we want such traditions to be abolished? who will agitate for the traditions to be abolished? Is it we the women or the men who only supports our plea for a woman to be humiliated?

When our fellow woman’s husband dies, a fellow woman is always the first to call for the traditions to take its course but if it happens to her she blames the society for the inhuman treatment. The Golden Rule says, do unto others what you want them do unto you also don’t do unto others what you will not want them do unto you.

Nigerian women especially those from the eastern part of this country where these traditions are practiced, we must come together and speak with one voice and say no the maltreatment of Widows in Nigeria. This we must do by beginning with ourselves to effect the change and this is through courage as the best protection a woman can have is courage (Elizabeth Candy Stanton).

Lets always remember that a woman is a full circle and within her lies the power to create, nurture and transform. (Diane Mariechild). We will create our own world where we would have equal rights with the men, nurture the rights and have our world transformed into a better place. According to Arlene Rankin, “The way in which we think of ourselves has to do with how our world sees us and how we see ourselves successfully acknowledged by the world.


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