AW Gist (The Change Agents): Here We Go Again

By Onozasi

Just before you begin: This is a discussion between three social agents, three women involved in different social innovations who’ve been brought together to discuss the different issues they’ve solved, the different stories they’ve heard and how we all can become good influencers, good change agents. I hope this stirs a thing up as you read.

                             Meet the Change Agents:

My name is Jadesola Olumide, I Work with women in rural and urban Nigeria. My organization teaches them to work with their hands to make money, well that’s what some people call skills acquisition. I have worked with over 5,000 women and I am still working daily with women and girls.

I am Tomi Nelson, I am an advocate against rape and sexual assault in society. I was working in the UK before coming to stay in Nigeria, and I must say I have seen much more than I expected to see. It’s no news that we have a lot to do but it is news that we need hands to make this happen.

My name is Lilian Ukachi. I am a media personality, social media influencer and trainer. I work with women and girls on a daily basis, I listen to them, motivate them to thirst for more and go beyond their boundaries. We have a lot of women and girls out there whose zest for life has been destroyed. It is imperative that we join hands to make their dreams come true.

Moderator: Hello Ladies…

Ladies: hi, madam moderator

Moderator: So, we are here to touch this issue hovering around us. Rape! It is disheartening. Sometimes, we think we have moved past the issue and we go back there again. what are we missing? what aren’t we doing right?

Lilian Ukach: Laws! Laws that work. That is what we are missing. That is what we are not getting right. See, people know that in this part of the world, sexual harassment isn’t taken seriously. Instead, they do the blame game. They blame women. What were you wearing and now, with the way things are going I want to know what a child has on. A 5month old, a 5year old, what do they have on to be raped if you are about that trashy part of life. We need laws that work. Let rapists be castrated. Let rapists be killed. That is what we need. Stiffer punishment and laws that work.

Tomi Nelson: I am very appalled at how things are going. It is like the more we get things together, the more scattered it is. I have seen trends online and I am pained and the most painful part is the fact that we are not sure of justice. Nothing pains one more than that. I am tired of hearing ‘God will fight for me, God will fish the culprits out’ that’s our regular anthem because we know that the system is somehow. This is not the first time we are saying this, we have created hashtags. We have created talks, we have held conferences. we have done this and that but talk alone cannot do it. We need stiffer laws and working laws. I am tired of people being killed. My gender is not safe in this land. You are home, they come in, rape you and go. We have a bunch of men that lack self-control. I even think we need to start involving men in our talks, in our conversations. It is beyond the hashtags. We need to do better than talk, create hashtags. I think we need to get on the streets, go meet our lawmakers and push them to make those laws. Women are scared. Women are dying. Girls are being humiliated. In the market place, at work even the place of worship nowhere is safe.  it is heartbreaking.

Jadesola Olumide: Can we start raising the boys? I am tired. We need to start training boys because these boys become men and what we are seeing is as a result of the loopholes in the homes. Can we start teaching these boys to be sensible? that a woman’s body is hers. Can we start raising responsible boys not just money makers?  Let us draft them into our conversations. I am tired of women’s talk because it looks like only women are growing and since the other gender isn’t growing, we will always have these issues. I think we have done it wrong by always speaking to ourselves, we need to start talking to the men. They must be included in the equation. When we open the space at home, broaden the conversation, we will have a safe haven and then we wouldn’t have to beg the lawmakers to make laws to protect women and girls. It will come naturally. Men will know that the onus is on them to do so. We wouldn’t have to beg because we will have women in the system who can represent us. Everything is all shade of wrong and I think we need to start from the homes and broaden the conversation.

Tomi Nelson: You know what baffles me ehn? It is the fact that it took this long to get the house to think about stiffer laws. It took this long. It took a young girl going into the church to go and read, and be raped and killed before they saw it as a pandemic. It took another young girl being raped by 11 men, being raped and killed by armed robbers before we decided to do something. Shame on us. Shame on the system that we have. We need more women in the system. If we had enough women in the house to speak for us, we wouldn’t be begging them to make laws, we wouldn’t be begging them to declare a state of emergency. We wouldn’t be here! We are not sure of the future we want for our children again in this space. We are all scared. Babies are being raped. Like how? how would a man rape a child and be declared to spend just 2yrs in jail… are you kidding me? No! You should be castrated. You should die by hanging. It is next to murder. You should be killed. when people see these things, they will run away from such acts. ‘They will send the devil packing when he comes to visit them because they know that that is death hanging in their faces’. we need to restructure our laws and do what is right! what is right!!!

Lilian Ukachi: This is a scourge and I think everyone should be talking about this, doing something about this, get into our various spaces and become advocates. This is not the time to leave the work to those who are professional advocates… we are all advocates here, we all are working here. This concerns every one of us. This is about us, this about us getting to work. This is about us doing the right thing that can work for us. We are tired of women being shamed.   I want all of us to stand up and take a stand. Let us do this work. This is a matter of life and death because they are killing our women and girls. There is no need to be silent. We cannot be silent.

Jadesola Olumide: I tell you. This is our matter. This concerns us. We cannot be silent. We want stiffer laws and we want people to stand up to do the right thing.

Moderator: We are tired of having to repeat the same thing over and over again. Action is what we need. Do it now and let the female gender be at peace. We need to breathe… Thank you Ladies

Ladies: Thank you.

 

 

 

Source: Above Whispers

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