Women's burdens in uprisings
On Sunday June 17th, 2012, incidences of bomb explosions were recorded at three churches in Kaduna State. Two of the bombings occurred in Zaria while the third happened in the Southern part of Kaduna metropolis. Spontaneous reactions which took the form of reprisal attacks became the order of the day and caused the State Government to impose a 24 hour dusk to dawn curfew on the 23 Local Government areas that make up Kaduna State. In no time, the streets became empty as people were forced to stay at home. Social and economic activities became completely grounded. But for the intermittent sounds of sirens from the vehicles of the law enforcement personnel that had been dispatched to maintain law and order, everywhere seemed like a ghost town. Strangely too, it looked like other regularly seen creatures also complied with the curfew as they also became scarce to find around.
By Monday afternoon, the State Government decided to relax the curfew between 2p.m and 6.00 p.m. to stem the tide of hardship that people were grappling with, as many were ill prepared and had become short of money and food supplies; of course too, there was nowhere to restock. However, the relaxing of the curfew almost became a grave mistake as aggrieved parties seized the opportunity to launch renewed wave of violence. Women and children were not spared as quite a number of them were either wounded or slain. In swift reaction, the 24 hour curfew was reinforced. As I write, residents of Kaduna State, have had to consistently stay indoors for over 72 hours, and are in the dark as to when the curfew would be relaxed or discontinued; considering the heightened grievances and palpable vengefulness that hangs in the air.
For many, hunger and frustration have sent in. Many women are caught in the midst of nursing their own injuries, caring for their wounded, mourning the dead, rationing depleted water and food supplies and also searching for replenishment. Women are carrying too many burdens than they can shoulder. How much more can they take in the face of destructive and dehumanizing conflicts? It is time for all warring factions to sheath their swords as no meaningful development can be achieved in the midst of uprisings.