polygamy - violence against women
Oge agala mgbe nwanyi n"abughi ihe - 3x
ma na ugbua nwanyi wu ihe
The above lines are in my native tongue which simply means
The time has gone when women were regarded as nothing, now women are everything.
This was a slogan used by a female politician sometime ago. This song actually cut fire among most right thinking women who knows that women has to be heard.
Polygamy is violence against women. Two or more women are thrown together to fight over one man and the man is seen to be lord and master over them. Naturally, women are full of competition and we do not love ourselves. Polygamy should be stopped as I see it as violence against women.
I came from a family of 16. My father, mother, step mother and my siblings 9 from my mother and 4 step siblings. My father and my mother lived well, with good respect, love and attention between them. Problems started for my mother when she had 6 girl children which followed in quick succession of 2 years apart, not from my father but from his family because according to them, SHE HAD ALL GIRLS and my society placed so much value on male children than women who are regarded as nothing - you are counted as one without a child if you do not have male children and it is still so now. My mother had 8 girls and 1 boy. My father's family made her life a living hell and went ahead to suggest to my father that he should send my mother packing with her broods of 7 girls and marry another woman. But my father did not listen to them because he loved us and will not dream of parting from us, though he eventually succumbed to taking a second wife which i believe was his greatest mistake and i know in his heart of hearts, he still regrets it. You may wonder how i know - certain utterance and reactions to certain things gives one some insights.
Immediately my step mother stepped into our home with the full backing of my father's family, she ignited a fire that has taking this long to put out. She raked so much havoc that the house also became so uncomfortable for my father but he could not send her away. My step mother had so many miscarriages which she and her cohorts blamed on my mother witchcraft. My mother being a strong christian held on strongly to her faith and prayed fervently day and night which helped held on to her sanity. God in his infinite mercies, rewarded her and she was delivered of a bouncing baby boy and it was after this time out that my step mother had her first child which turned out to be a boy too.
I became the first child when we lost my elder sister in a mysterious circumstances. I saw most of the happenings around me but could not understand fully what the brouhaha was all about (male & female children) and now that i am grown and i came to understand the second class citizen status bestowed on women.
In the midst of all these, my father remained steadfast in his encouragement, maintaining that all of us must go to school and he used to call us girls and advice us and tell us in limited words what we will face if we are not committed to education and make something good of our lives. Those midnight advices remained the checks and balances in our lives till now.
Though two of my sisters did made the mistake of getting pregnant during their teens, but my father took it in his strides and sent them back to school after child birth. Now we are all grown and doing well in our fields of endeavour and the bedrock of our family (father & mother + husband & children). My stepmother and her children are also doing well and we have continued in our small way to make sure that we remain one big family despite the bitterness of the past. I will continue to make sure we remain close knit. The family is afterall the smallest unit of our society, if the family is not in peace and united, what type of children will come out from such family. Our families have to be fortified in order for us to have a sane society.