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.