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VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS WILL IT EVER STOP

The woman battered by the husband

“The unfinished business of human history is the full emancipation of women and equality of women. And women empowerment is a universal right, not just a western idea” – Hillary Rodman Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State.
The question is: are we moving forward in the emancipation of women? I don’t know of other countries but in Nigeria up till today, at least one out of three women will be beating in her life time and one out of five girls will have history of rape. The society including women and girls when interviewed believes it is one of those things. The church and mosque believes the women are the one that should be careful so that they will not be beating and raped. The talks are on dressing properly, walk properly, don’t entice men with your dressing, talk and the way you carry yourself. There are hardly talks on men controlling themselves, respecting women and girls.
The police however, when you report cases of abuse and assault to them you hear them telling you, “we are peacemakers; we need to make peace between people not to encourage a wife to send her husband to jail for assaulting her”. You now wonder where you then turn to for justice. The police continue to make their peace yet the cases of husband beating their wives to death happens every other day, the cases of child rape on the increase and Domestic violence between lovers continue to plague our society.
I was at the police recently on a case of wife battering; the woman is my hair dresser. Immediately I saw her I knew she had been beating mercilessly day before but when I asked her she first denied it before confessing later that the husband beat her. This woman hardly was able to breathe and stand but she still needs to make my hair because she needed the money to take care of herself and her children. The husband who beat her has nothing to offer her and the children since he had no job he is doing. Before we spent two hours at the police station, five similar cases met me there. The most pathetic of the cases was the woman that was beating the third day she delivered a baby because she went to grind pepper to cook soup for her husband with grinder and not with her hands. I became so angry and overwhelmed in my spirit. The reason for the increase of these cases is not far from the reasons I mentioned above. Here is a dialogue at the police station:
Me: I am here to complain that I have noticed and confirmed from neighbors that the husband of this woman beat almost every day and if care is not taken, the life of this woman is in danger. Therefore I want the husband to be arrested, taken to court so that he can write the undertaken that he will not beat the wife again.
Police Officer: Well, before we can file anything let me take you to my boss and if he gives me the go ahead, then madam you can write your statement
Getting to boss, the D.P.O.: Madam we are peacemakers and he face the women that was beaten in the presence of the husband and said, “my advice is that you should not send your husband to court because if you do you know his family will not think well of you and it will be a story in future that you sent your husband to jail.”
The husband that was afraid before but now see the way the Divisional Police Officer was talking received strength and also faced the wife and said “ Do you want send me to jail, think about it very well o, what are you going to tell our children?” At that point the woman became dejected and perplexed.
Me: I became so angry and told the D.P.O. and said, have you forgotten that I am the complainant and not this woman, I want you to stop this sermon, I want to write my statement and you put this man behind the counter and take him to court on Monday. I then faced the husband and said, this is beyond your wife, as a woman right activist, I am taken you court and make sure you pay the price for what you have done.
At that the whole attention now shifted on me, the husband of the woman, his relatives and friends now see me as a threat and as the person that want to send the man to jail. They started threatening me and when saw that I was not going to bulge, they then started begging. They brought all the elders in their compound to my home to beg me, went to the palace to bring the chief to come and beg me. At that point my family also started becoming afraid for my life and they also started appealing to me to withdraw the case. This is always the scenario on every cases.
You can now see the reason why violence against women and girls continue to be on the increase. Another thing I found out is that many of our men don’t know where their rights stop and of course many women don’t know where their rights begin. I went to a place recently for a wedding; it is about 600 kilometers to my place at the eastern part of Nigeria. The women are facing horror in that community. At the traditional wedding, the mother of the bride was driven away from the hall where the wedding was taking place; she has to be peeping from the window to watch the wedding of her daughter whom she gave birth to. Without her giving birth to that girl, there wouldn’t have been wedding at all, yet she has no say at all and she was not even allowed to be seated at the wedding. Also in the community, all the work are done by the women, they are the farmers, they are the one to do the house chores and of course the one to give birth to babies. Their men just need to wake up in the morning and started drinking till night and as they are drinking their must always be prepared to put food on thir table at every point in time.
I think what we need to do now and fast is first look closely at the definition of “empowerment” and I believe as rightly said by Gail Straub, co-founder of Empowerment Institute, New York, U.S.A in her article on “The Missing Piece in the Empowerment Equation” that, “the most pertinent definition of empowerment is one that describe empowerment as an expansion of one’s capacity to create positive behavioural where efforts are needed that foster women’s sense of self, resulting in greater self esteem, motivation, self respect and self reliance.” In this definition two important components of empowerment are taken care of, Resources and Agency. However, women would be empowered economically and in self worth.
The grass root women right activist also needs support to move forward in the emancipation and equality of women. For example in my case, I know these problems are there, I see them every day, I know the steps to take but the resources are not there for me to take steps. Fighting for women’s right will take your time, will endanger your life, will cost money and energy. I have been doing this for the past five years without any major grant, you are ask the abusers to help with money to fight them and it will get to a stage one will become so overwhelmed and tired you will want to quit or ignore cases happening around you. International donors and NGOs should find a way of letting their supports get to the Women Right Activist at the grass root if we want to make any head way as far as Eradication of Violence against Women and girls and gender Equality are concerned.

The wedding, Men's affairs

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Comments

Mary S's picture

Hi Busayo I think things can

Hi Busayo

I think things can change across the world, but that it will take time. Here in the UK, women's lives have changed a huge amount in the last hundred years, going from possessions of men to being independent people with equal rights (of course, we still have a few idiots who don't see it that way...). I know that makes us incredibly lucky here, but it also proves it is possible.

It takes a lot of courage to do what you do, standing up against the attitudes of the police and others. It is shocking to see that the police are so reluctant to prosecute, they are supposed to be there to enforce the law. Hopefully as others see what you achieve, they will start to follow your lead and slowly things will begin to improve.

There is funding out there for women's rights work - I know people who have put in successful applications, but there is a lot of competition. The link on my profile may give you some ideas, and I know there is also a World Pulse fundraising guide.

Good luck!

Mary

busayo's picture

Thank you Mary

Thank you very much for your response, I really appreciate it. I have been trying for funding but I have not been in luck yet. We will continue to forge ahead, one day there willl be light after the tunnel. Thank you once again!

With Love
Busayo Obisakin
CEO/Founder,
Women Inspiration Development Centre
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Greengirl's picture

Hello Sister Busayo

Before I go on to add my comment to your post, I observed that you posted your response to Mary's comment, as another comment. It is unlikely that Mary will get a notification to that effect. I am sure it was an oversight, as I have also made the same mistake a couple of times. Just to be sure that Mary receives a notification of your reply to her comment, you may want to revisit her comment and click on the word 'reply' which you'll find directly below her comment. Same for Kelly. You also missed replying Tam's comment which I think you may want to read again particularly in the light of the support it can bring to the great work you are doing

You've been doing the right thing over time, and I know it wont be a task this time around.

Sincerely and in admiration,
Greengirl

Mary S's picture

Thanks GreengirlI did see

Thanks Greengirl

I did see Busayo's reply to me. When you are signed in, there is a Track screen that lists any new replies on posts that you have replied to.

I try to remember to use the Reply option, but I also sometimes forget too!

Hi Busayo - I hope you are well!

Mary

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Awesome advice about

Awesome advice about commenting!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Awesome advice, Olanike! A great reminder to us about commenting. Thanks!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Greengirl's picture

Thanks!

That's why we all need each other. Thanks Michelle!

Olanike

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Busayo- This is a powerful

Busayo-
This is a powerful article, and you so well convey the view you have from where you sit. It paints a vivid picture for us of what is lacking and the desperate need for equality and respect. As you so eloquently wrote, "our men don’t know where their rights stop and of course many women don’t know where their rights begin". And even when women come to the realization of what those rights are, perhaps there is lack of support or resources and maybe the need for courage which makes taking action all the more challenging.

I believe many organizations and donors are, in fact, making sure resources get to where they are needed, but we all need to have one voice together to create the power and momentum behind the movements. If you had needed resources, what specifically is your vision for action? What resources do you need at this time?

Your voice is strong, your heart is strong, your passion is so evident here and I know you are so wanting to make the change happen! If you could do anything at all to create the change you hope to see, what would that be? Perhaps we could garner more voices behind your cause, holding you up and raising our voices with yours.

Thank you again for writing and sharing this story! Many blessings to you!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

busayo's picture

Thank you Michelle!

Thank you Michelle for your response to this post, I really appreciate your contributions. To answer your questions: My vision to action is:- To provide a safe place and network to empower women and girls in challenging situations so that they can discover the real purpose of their existence and create new possibilities for themselves without fear or intimidation. this I want to achieve this vision through:- 1) Conducting Empowerment Workshops for disenfranchised Women and girls. We have organized this workshops for about 350 women and girls in our community on our own but we had to stop because of lack of funds. 2) Talks and enlightenment campaigns through Radio Phone-in programs, we did this in 2012 for 16 weeks through the fund we got from African Women Fund during the 2012 16 Days of activism. We have also been able to do this for 8 weeks between last year and now on our own but we have to halt now due to lack of fund. 3) Talks and Enlightenment Campaigns in slums and villages. We have done this in 5 villages which we have to stop for now. 4) Vocational Training for homeless and underprivileged women and girls. We trained 20 homeless women and girls last year but we could only established few of them in their business due to lack of funds. 5) Safe place for internet access for women and girls through "female only cybercafe" in every zone in Nigeria.
I will be so glad if you could raise your voices with mine that Nigerian girls have access to all these items above to reduce domestic and Sexual violence to the bear est minimum in Nigeria.
Thank you once again for your words of encouragement!

Love
Busayo Obisakin
Founder/CEO
Women inspiration Development Center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Cali gal Michelle's picture

Busayo, what an amazing

Busayo, what an amazing vision you have, and more amazing your plan of action! I am reminded of the power of good each time I see that there is forward motion to address these various issues of women and violence. I love the idea of empowerment workshops, but it is dis-heartening to read of the lack of funds! I'm sure you have exhausted every resource to find more, but have you looked at the Global Fund for Women? https://www.globalfundforwomen.org/apply-for-a-grant or the Women's Funding Network? http://www.womensfundingnetwork.org/

Please private message me with any questions about accessing these resources.

Keep on keeping on!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

kirthijay's picture

Hi Busayo, Your article is

Hi Busayo,
Your article is very insightful. I reckon the most important thing though, is to keep yourself in line with fighting for the cause - every little thing makes a difference, and the ripple effect will definitely help things improve. You are a very courageous person - and that inspires many of us across the world! All the best :)
Kirthi

busayo's picture

Thank you Kirthi!

Thank you so much Kirthi for your kind words. I am doing as you have suggested, a step at a time and I have already seen the effects of those steps. I am inspired the more by your words!

Love
Busayo Obisakin
Founder/CEO
Women inspiration Development Center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

busayo's picture

Thank you Michelle!

Thank you Michelle for your response to this post, I really appreciate your contributions. To answer your questions: My vision to action is:- To provide a safe place and network to empower women and girls in challenging situations so that they can discover the real purpose of their existence and create new possibilities for themselves without fear or intimidation. this I want to achieve this vision through:- 1) Conducting Empowerment Workshops for disenfranchised Women and girls. We have organized this workshops for about 350 women and girls in our community on our own but we had to stop because of lack of funds. 2) Talks and enlightenment campaigns through Radio Phone-in programs, we did this in 2012 for 16 weeks through the fund we got from African Women Fund during the 2012 16 Days of activism. We have also been able to do this for 8 weeks between last year and now on our own but we have to halt now due to lack of fund. 3) Talks and Enlightenment Campaigns in slums and villages. We have done this in 5 villages which we have to stop for now. 4) Vocational Training for homeless and underprivileged women and girls. We trained 20 homeless women and girls last year but we could only established few of them in their business due to lack of funds. 5) Safe place for internet access for women and girls through "female only cybercafe" in every zone in Nigeria.
I will be so glad if you could raise your voices with mine that Nigerian girls have access to all these items above to reduce domestic and Sexual violence to the bear est minimum in Nigeria.
Thank you once again for your words of encouragement!

Love
Busayo Obisakin
Founder/CEO
Women inspiration Development Center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Tam's picture

To Action

Dear Busayo,

I found this post of yours today, and as I read my heart once again almost broke from news of what you and women you have written about, have so recently endured. Yes - When will it stop?That you have survived by this most recent act of courage and then find strength to report it to us all, is yet another giant step. Each day I must change the feeling that my heart could break, and transform the pain into determination to live to see violence against women everywhere, stop. For it to be impossible that any one would dare harm a woman, even more, that it become impossible to even contemplate the idea. We have so far to go, as we are reminded by you with such important words and information, that we must find resources from wherever we can to support your work, and the similar work being done by sisters up against such tall and dangerous walls. As International Women's Day approaches I am not seeing the support here in Canada that we are capable of, and I will turn my pain into resolve to find ways to join hands more strongly. We are far from finished here, despite decades of actions, but we are growing stronger and ever more resolved, as we find each other, internationally. Please know you are not alone. Here is a small announcement from the USA I found this morning that might lend some strength.

The Advocates' Women's Human Rights Program will be sending a delegation of staff, volunteers and board members to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, which will meet for its 58th session in New York, March 10-21. The Advocates' staff, alongside our partner, Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, and Cindy Dyer of Vital Voices, will present a panel on monitoring implementation of domestic violence laws, at a parallel NGO event, on Monday, March 10 at 8:30 a.m. in the Hardin Room Church Center United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY. The presentation is open to the public.

With Love,

Tam

busayo's picture

Hello Tam

Hello Tam,
I am very sorry I did not reply to your comment u til now, it was an oversight. Thank you for the work you are doing to eradicate violence against women. I hope the program at UN went well and many people was able to be part of it. Violence against is on the Increase in my community and I think the reason is because the poverty level is very high. Most men are frustrated and their wives is the nearest person to be at the receiving end of their anger. I have anothet case now of a women sent out with two weeks old baby. She is homeless now with nobody to take care of her and the baby. I am going to post the case in my journal today. Thank you for the great work you are doing!

Love
Busayo Obisakin
CEO/ Founder
Women Inspiration Development Centre
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

kellyannaustin's picture

speaking the truth!

Thank you so much for speaking the truth, Busayo. Your words are so insightful: "The church and mosque believes the women are the one that should be careful so that they will not be beating and raped. The talks are on dressing properly, walk properly, don’t entice men with your dressing, talk and the way you carry yourself. There are hardly talks on men controlling themselves, respecting women and girls." The fundamental beliefs and structures of the society are attempting to place the blame for men's behavior squarely on the shoulders of the women who survive the abuse. Once you've unveiled that, you are on your way to reimagining a new place for women.

Thank you for standing up for women's rights, even when the victims can't always find their own voice. I hope it will inspire them to tell their own stories and understand their human rights. I work on a domestic violence crisis line receiving calls. Trying to empower women to become their own best advocate is the most difficult challenge. It takes time, love and encouragement. Thank you for offering those things to your compatriots.

Best wishes,

Kelly

busayo's picture

Thank you Kelly

Thank you Kelly for your contributions. It is part of the counselling we give to women and girls who survived violence that they must tell their stories. We also counselled them to know their human right and stand up for it.
Thank you once again for your response!

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Greengirl's picture

Your passion, drive and energy...

This is a very powerful and down to earth anecdote of the sad reality of an unending cycle of violence against women and girls. Your passion, energy and drive for change reverberated through your words, which aptly painted a true and clear picture of the issue; particularly in Nigeria. It has become really needful for governments and world leaders to take the issue of Violence Against Women and Girls very seriously. As a matter of fact and urgency Laws that will criminalize perpetrators should be put in place.

You've done a lot, and it is heartening to know that you are not giving up the fight, notwithstanding the many hurdles you have to cross. I trust that as you continue to speak out, help will surface.

Best wishes and much love,
Olanike

busayo's picture

Thank you!

Thank you my dear sister for your kind words and encouragement. Thank you also for pointing out those I did not reply nor reply at all. I have replied them again . We will continue to raise our voices until violence against women and girls stop in our society.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Jennifer E's picture

Courageous Woman!

Thank you for your courage of speaking up and fighting the best way that you can. I have visited Nigeria twice and found that it is a beautiful place. Unfortunately, the hardest part of being a pioneer is being a pioneer and trying to get those who you so desperately want to help to help themselves. The danger is that you are taking incredible risks, and I hope that you are also finding ways to rest and replenish your mind, body and spirit.

I read at the bottom of your email that you own and operate your own development center for women.... Do you have offices elsewhere in the world that can be an extension of your voice in Nigeria?

Peace and Many Blessings
Jennifer

busayo's picture

I am encouraged

Thank you Jennifer for your encouragement. Well I think my sister the risk is not taking the risk. You are right what I am doing is risky but if we all refuse to do this then our society will continue to rotten and the voiceless will continue to suffer. We have to be their voice to stop this menance of violence against women in our midst. Yes I have to take time to rest, I have to rest to gather more strength to fight another day.
My NGO began 5 years ago, I have never received any grant except$1000 for 2012 16 Days of Activism so I don't have any branch anywhere.
Thank you for all what you are doing for humanity too

love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

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