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We are washing the Earth

The SOS Social Centre in Lagos invited me to speak on this year's International Women's Day yesterday, March 11, 2011. Armed with the theme and my experiencce of Paulo Freire's Approach, I left home as early as I can make it to the venue and waited for participants. The programme began with my little introduction to the genesis of the International Women's Day and it was followed by my skit. I had wanted to use the Augusto Boal's method or the But Why, until I discovered that the participants are mostly form the adult literacy class, so I switched course to Popular Education.

The skit was short, showing the choice of toys for baby girls and choice of courses for poor female school leavers. We discussed the protection methods and how far the men in our lives have pushed us, be it father, husband, brother, boyfriend etc. There were men present too and they confirmed how irritant the voices of their wives become when it comes to a matter of decision making.

Sharing real life experiences was a step in Paulo Freire's approach and the women and men were redy to share their experiences. They are horribel experiences and everyone share and weep. I was proving to be strong but it got to a time when my heart had to give way and I allowed the free flow too.

I had to collect a microphone from a man who began to weep too, because I wanted him to allow it to flow.

Does it means that we cannot live side by side?, does it means that equality would continue as long as our men refused to be educated? how come women are the ones in the fore front of perpetuating violence against women in our villages? why is it that our women do not even believe in themselves and their abilities to effect changes?

A woman begged me to follow her to her village because she believed that the culture of resuming to work at the farm after school hours will continue to keep girls behind in their educational pursuits. The farm is always around four miles to the home. She said "we eat linch at the farm, so we must run as far as our legs can carry us"

Do you know that there are million of girls who do not have time for home work or assignment? That some girls would have to cove four miles after the school hours because of food for her family? Do you believe that some girls are still working to pay for their siblings all because they are girls? Do we ever think of what our girls feel in their corners?

We actually talked about forceful corporate prostitution especially in Banks in Nigeria! Wherein ladies are recruited to seduce rich clients to open an account and transfer large sum from his other banks. Wonders shall neve end. How many male bankers are used as gigolo in Nigeria? None. Shamefully, soome Nigerians evacuated from Libya narrated their sexual ordeals in their land of greener pastures. A lady that was being sexually molested by the man and his sons because she did not have the necessary documents to live in Libya, how many of our young female graduates are in such condition today?

I gave some minutes for our tears to flow because for once, I want my tears to reach those secret tears of the unknown girls. Who knows, may be one day, our tears will heal this unjust World.

Wherever you are my little girl, my darling sister and my mothers, My tears is flowing for you, and I know it is reachiing you as we cleanse our earth in togetherness. Do hot hold it; let is flow because one day, I means very soon, the International Women's Day would be a Happy Celebration for my women.

Comments

usha kc's picture

Olustin dear, thank you for

Olustin dear, thank you for sharing !! I really enjoyed .keep it up dear!!

olutosin's picture

Thanks for reading

I appreciate the comment friend. Thanks

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

AchiengNas's picture

Loving

Olutosin,
Thank you for sharing such a passionate fact about girl situation in Nigeria. Ugandan girls go through the same. Females need alot of attention and empowerment. As you said, women and girls still do not cofide in themselves. May we continue to empower and mentor our fellows, my our voices drum in every corner of the earth.

Thank you once again.

Love,
Beatrice

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

olutosin's picture

Women and girls!

My earnest prayer is that God would give us all the enablement to empower them, we must just do something. Thanks sis.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

gunu_k's picture

women's situation is really bad

dear olutosin,
the situation of women is really bad. i know what it is to have to work on the farm and do school at the same time. it is next to impossible to study well. i suffered because of that in my childhood. as for sexual harassment of women or the sale of their bodies that is the worst manifestation of patriarchy. thank you for such an honest sharing. it has served to anger me further if that is possible! down with patriarchy is our slogan.

Subhadra Khaperde
India

olutosin's picture

Down with patriarchy...yes!

That is a beautiful slogan...thanks for reading and commenting.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

What beautiful words you speak, so warm and heart breaking at the same time. By sharing your voice and advocating for women and girls you bring and awareness and educate many around the world. Your VOICE is the embrace the voiceless need, the courage they wish for, the dream that they inspire to have one day... you can help them with your voice. I applaude yur courage and strength. I congratulate you on your accomplishments and honors. This is a huge step for Happiness For ALL women around the world.

Thank you

Love and light, Mia

olutosin's picture

Your words too

Thanks so much for your words, I am so happy to read this comment, it lifts my soul and wants me to do more.
May God Bless you for your support for us all.
Thanks Dear Friend.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Starland's picture

Thank you, dear

This was a lovely piece of writing and so powerful. One thing that jumped out at me was about the women attacking other women. It seems to me that when conditioning and fear in women are so strong, they learn to take the side of their "captures", so to speak, for survival up to the point that it becomes true for them as well and then they have a false sense of "safety" feeling they have joined the "other side." All mostly unconscious, of course. Just a thought...

love
K-lee

K-lee Starland, Ph.D.

Thannks and I find it so disheartening that our women support their oppressors in Nigeria, especially the uneducated women. I will have to work with girls in teh nearest future...You just have to help me to coomeup with something that is strictly for girls....I have been invited to talk to girls in a High school this Wednesday...Do you think I can do something for girls in STAR........U know it is for women and children...both boys and girls... Now I feel the girls need some special suppport.
Hope you are fine Mawmaw.

Lots of love from the girls....

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

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