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I was only but fourteen...

I was only 14 years old, when my parents wanted me to get married to a 45 years old man who was a regular customer in our local restaurant, because for them, women’s education ends in the kitchen and that the little money they had was for my brothers’ education. I refused and was chased out of the house. I ran to my Aunty who sent me hawking oranges even during school hours, I escaped rape severally from men who pretended to buy all my oranges, each time I couldn’t finish selling my oranges, I will be denied of food and will be beaten mercilessly. One day a man came complaining to my Aunty that I always refuse bringing orange to his house, my aunty slapped me and refused hearing from me, she sent me out that night to make sure I sold all the oranges and I ran to an uncompleted building not knowing it’s a hiding place for street boys. Around 11:30 Pm, they came in and almost raped me, fortunately for me, a pastor was driving to a church night vigil, when he saw us and stopped his car, they ran away and the pastor took me with him. He later took me back to my parents and promised to take care of my education and he did as promised.

That made me vowed to fight for the rights of women and girls and empower them in any way I could and also educate parents to value their daughters.

Lack of education and empowerment for the girl child and forcing of the girl child to early marriage is increasing the poverty level of women. For me, I may have been fortunate, but thousands of girls and women in my region and in developing countries have been trapped. The most unbearable effect of this kind of ordeal for women in my region is that most time when they agree to marry and along the line their spouse dies, her husband’s relatives accuses her of killing her husband and stripe her of all her husbands’ possessions, arrange a burial rite where they use shape blade to shave the woman’s hair, armpits and pubic area and to further torment her, they go to the mortuary order the bath of the corpse and the water brought to his widow to drink. Due to lack of empower for the woman to be able to carry on, suffers with her children.

The men instigate the local women associations, to champion these barbaric actions to widows (their fellow women). They see WIDOWHOOD as a curse and punish their fellow women due to illiteracy and ignorance. This has actually made me go into searching for an online community like World Pulse with which I can use to mobilize and link women both in my region and diaspora in other to use Web 2.0 tool like World Pulse to speak out on such barbaric actions and have them stopped.

My story: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=191532887586822&notif_t=video_...

Comments

Stella Paul's picture

A warm hug!

You are in Africa. I am in South Asia. Between us, we have continents and oceans.And yet, the story you described is a story I so well know- right from the early marriage to abuse to treatment of widows! After this acknowledgement, what can I do but give you a warm, tight hug?

This hug is for what you went through. This hug is for being a survivor. This hug is for being there for others who can't cross the journey on their own. Be the woman in need! And I am here, we are here to be your cheerleaders!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

Adepeju's picture

e-hug

Giving u an e-smile and an e-wink right now for your comment Stella. Can I have an e-hug too :-)

Stella Paul's picture

You got it!

You got it! a big, warm one, with lots of good wishes for a new week!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

treasureland's picture

We must keep speaking

Stella, the situation is almost the same everywhere, that is why we are all here to speak out CHEERS.

treasureland's picture

We must keep speaking

Stella, the situation is almost the same everywhere, that is why we are all here to speak out CHEERS.

Ifesinachi Sam-Emuwa

Adepeju's picture

Coming from Nigeria too, I

Coming from Nigeria too, I understand your pain and what you have passed through. I like the fact that you realise thousands in your shoes arent as lucky as you her and have decided to stand up for them. Big congrats dear

Teresa Temweka's picture

your story matches mine

You may have gone thru a lot, but somehow your story relates to mine. Thrice in my life some men have tried to rape me. I was however somehow lucky because my parents had warned me of such evil attempts, so i knew how to escape them. I am however glad that you have been so strong and still going a long way to support fellow women.

Teresa

Greengirl's picture

Great Courage

I admire your courage for coming out with a story that touches on the very fabric of women's existence. I wish you the very best as you keep the struggle (of liberating other women) alive.
You are one woman too many.

Maggs's picture

What a story! Amazing the

What a story! Amazing the paths that our lives take. More amazing when we turn hardship and suffering into a great ending of assisting and helping others in similar situations.

maggs

treasureland's picture

We are each others support

Adepeju, Teresa, Olanike, Maggs

I appreciate your comments and I want to say that we are here to support each other. CHEERS

fem4femmes's picture

Treasures...

You and your words!! Bless you and thank you for your courage and determination! Your strength is such an inspiration!

Great joy and peace to you today!

marissa

"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

treasureland's picture

We will keep up our strength

Fem4femmes I'm blessed by your words, we all have this strength and we will keep using it.

Ifesinachi Sam-Emuwa

Maddy M.'s picture

Wow, you are an incredible

Wow, you are an incredible survivor!!! While I was reading your story I was horrified to know what happens to widows in those regions of your country. It was also touching to know of your amazing courage and about that Pastor-angel God sent to your life and all of the people who have been blessing.

treasureland's picture

We will keep surviving.

Thank you Maddy, Did you go through the YouTube video link attached, What happens to widows in my region especially in the Igbo tribe of my Country is horrifying. I am planning to see how I could "break even" into the women associations in my village to see how it can be stopped and the change spread to other villages.

Ifesinachi Sam-Emuwa

ccontreras's picture

I admire you!

I admire your courage and your strong desire to come out and help out other women out there. I can only imagine what you have been through and your story has really touched my soul. I know that you will be able to make a difference for the women of your country and for the women around the world too. I wish you nothing but the very best and once again, you are a great role model! :-)

"I embrace emerging experience. I am a butterfly. Not a butterfly collector." - Stafford

treasureland's picture

Ccontreras, you are admired too!!!

Ccontreras, I appreciate your comment so much and I admire you too, we all have that inert courage and strong desire for change and I wish we use this platform to affect the life of women around us positively. CHEERS.

Ifesinachi Sam-Emuwa

nargiz's picture

Your story reveals the best

Your story reveals the best and worst of humanity - thank you so much for sharing it. Your desire to prevent other women from suffering as you have done is not rare - but your courage in following through and putting your plan to action really is. You touch on so many separate issues in your story, but they all come to one - that the empowerment and education of women is our best chance of seeing change in the world.

treasureland's picture

Women Empowerment is the key

Thank you Nargiz for your comment. The empowerment and education of all women will go along way in bringing great change to the world.

bluepearl2001's picture

Courage, Grace and Passion

In every woman's life, she is forced to make difficult decisions. What would become of us if every woman just "went along" and did what she was told or forced to do. Bravo to you for rising above the tyranny of forced marriage and for standing up for those who have no voice.

Having reviewed your VOF profile, I was impressed with what you had already set in motion as you try to reverse poverty and abuses. Your story reveals your courage, grace and passion, the perfect tools for making a difference in your world.

Best to you!

treasureland's picture

I'm Motivated by your words

Thank you Bluepearl, I'm encouraged by your comment. We must all learn to be firm with our dreams, our visions and our desires. Let us never allow circumstances and challenges take us away from our track. CHEERS

Ifesinachi Sam-Emuwa

bluepearl2001's picture

Glad to provide support

Without dreams, we would still be living in caves, yes?
Glad to know you.
Best to you!

treasureland's picture

Glad to know you too.

Lets keep keeping up our dreams and visions until we see change happen. CHEERS

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