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A Woman’s Right To Her Real Estate

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Friday, July 29th, 2016

I want to talk about the Malawian “Hyena” issue. Actually, I want to SCREAM!!!

I was shocked beyond words to read that a man in 2016 takes pride in having the ‘job’ to deflower young girls as part of a rite of passage into womanhood. This man isn’t developing a cure for the world’s dreaded diseases or solving a mathematical equation, but he is spreading diseases to young women… and he’s even paid to do it! This human ‘hyena’ is deflowering girls for a living. I wonder if he sends his own daughters to another hyena or he’d rather do the ‘job’ himself.

May I ask what it is about a woman’s body or permit me to use the word “Vagina” that almost every man on earth thinks he’s got the right to regulate? Under the guise of customs and traditions sold to some mentally enslaved women who themselves suffer a version of the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ considering they may have been ‘cleansed’ by a ‘hyena’ in their own time as well. He went on to say that the girls liked the cleansing and thanked him after the act…….

From the average man on the streets who thinks he can violate a girl or a woman whenever he feels the urge; to our lawmakers who get to decide when girls and women marry, who they marry, what they wear, what to eat, when to menstruate or reach menopause and generally everything that goes on in our bodies; everybody wants to regulate women.

I once led a group of young women to the Nigerian National Assembly on a learning visit. From the security gate, every Akin, Yakubu and Emeka had comments, criticisms and look of disapproval over the physical appearance of these vibrant and intelligent young women. Comments which ranged from the length of their jeans, their hairdo, to the colour of their blouses and sleeves. None of them had the mental capabilities of these women and yet they felt that as men, they had the right to judge how they were dressed. I was irate and quickly dismissed their comments as unwarranted since to the best of my knowledge the National Assembly had no dress code.

Take the brouhaha around the Gender and Equal Opportunities (GEO) Bill for example. Let’s break it down, women just want to be treated as human beings as they are and have the right to decide what’s best for them. However, our men said no, we get to decide for you. Our legislators need to know that our bodies are not their constituency, stop legislating on women’s bodies. Focus on the economy, education, health and general infrastructure. If we spend as much time on development like we do on regulating how women should live their lives, Nigeria would be a much more advanced state.

Finally, dear world, please stop putting all your energy into deciding what goes on in a woman’s body – it is probably the only piece of real estate given to us by God that we’ve got the Certificate of Occupancy to. When we decide to give you a Right of Occupancy through marriage or any form of consent, please respect that and don’t insist on the ‘C of O!’


Olufunke Baruwa is the CEO, Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund


24 Responses

  1. I can completely relate with this as most men will directly inflict their insecurities on women and try to tell them how to do anything and everything. I belive women truly should have all the say in what they do with their bodies or not

  2. Hmmm, I’m sometimes of the opinion that some women wants to be led, directed and controlled in every sense of actions and attitude. Maybe most of these women should work on their dependent and flaky nature, and then men will have no options than to comply to their willful counterparts

  3. Sincerely, This is a good one! The world we are in makes us feel like it’s a crime to be a woman. They tag it like it’s a curse on us. Leave us and let us be.

    Imagine the ‘hynenas’, getting young females infected, circumcision and all that rubbish! We should stand and fight against this menance.


  4. Women ain’t slaves and so should be respected in our society, the malawian Hyena issue is an exasperating and humiliating one. Women now live an insecured life because of some nitwit who can’t have their trousers zipped.

  5. Great write up. I personally find the hyena issue appalling and i feel ignorance is at work there, i hope this knowledge would get to them to see that os no cleansing instead a danger to their lives.
    As for the ladies owning the rights to their bodies, it is really a no no for a man to be in control of a woman’s body. That is my take.

  6. The truth is, women are most often objectified and rarely appreciated as humans. It’s a product of cultural and religious orientation. It will not be true to say it is a Nigerian issue, no! It’s always been a world issue.
    Men believe and are believed to be the real human beings or god to be served and worshiped by “the lesser creature” called women. It’s been in human nature from ages.
    Of course God created woman from man, but he didn’t create her as an object or a thing to be used or disrespected.
    Weather women own there C of O, well the truth is no one, man or woman, owns anything. Whatever u have was given by God to you as a TRUSTEE we must give account of the use of such thing.
    Women have the right to be treated as co-humans like men. However this is not to equate men with women, as this is not the order of arrangement by God. We were both created to complement each other as humans under the divine order of headship and followership.
    A married man or woman have no right to claim ownership of his or her body. It’s become a “joint venture”. To deny each other access to each other’s c of o will be totally ungodly, illegal and totally immoral.
    The view of men about what and who women really are must change and in fact, women’s understanding of who they really are or are meant to be must change. If both of ” us” have this mutual understanding, the world will be a better place to live; marriages will last longer and God will be happier.

  7. For a highly reformed and informed person
    Any form Relationship with a lady must be *mutualistic*. Its pertinent to come to the realization of the fact that the female gender are meant to be treasured and not endangered or handled wrongly.

  8. Yes to greater extent women have a right to there body, what they do with it, when to give it out, who to give it out to and even when to withdraw it back Is necessary. But on the other hand most women have abused this “one real estate” they were given right by God. Now To digress a little and take it gospel now. This write up got so many things to be consider. Citing some parts of the article, e.g. Going to the National Assembly and people commenting about the dress code, those guys, from the gate wouldnt have comment at all had it been some of the ladies had dressed properly. The bible says show yourself approved. So with there dressing or from there dressing, is it God”s standard? So, that it was not pleasing to man then is not acceptable to God, so is not that men want to have a rule or dominion over a woman or her “real estate”, But such will never happen if the lady is very presentable, and appreciable by many.

  9. If we have to look at this write up in so many areas we will definitely have different view about it. But to cap it all, we find this rampant in some part of the world because of there respective laws and norms. Also our religious beliefs.

  10. Great comments so far.. But really i would likebus not to digress from that main point which is “the real estate”. The real eatate here is the woman body most especially the **vagina** Once this is entrusted to another person either male or female it C of O is lost totally, so that means it can be violated at any given period.. @Dseed, i get your drift about the marriage situation but the body remains hers and she knows how to maintain it, she knows when to give in and when not. Do think all husbands are considerate?? She is a helpmeet to the husband and not an item to be used.

  11. This is really outrageous…
    How can women be belittled this way…Illiteracy is really a disease… God help us

  12. Sometimes I wonder if a day will come when I will stop hearing of all this happenings….men are so used to judging women by their physical appearance though we can’t neglect the fact that it is important too but there is more to us than what we put on…May God give our men insight

  13. Gender inequality….Rape…Domestic violence…Insecurity and now this…I pray for the GIRL CHILD that things change soon if it ever will

  14. Women are mothers to men, either they be young or old, small or big, with or without Children. They should be treated with much revere because that’s what they deserve!

  15. Men pls learn to respect, pamper and love women now? Disrespecting them always stripes them off their courage, ego and prestige.

  16. Some traditions and customs are really so annoying. Can you imagine… Total slavery and selfish act here. Who made the law that at a particular age the lady should be deflowered. People just make laws that suit their taste. And women are always the victims here. Let them focus on the more pressing issues in the country and leave women to make a say and stop violating woman. Our body is our temple and no man have the right to make laws concerning our real estate because they do not have the right to make decisions for us when they don’t even know how we came into existence.
    Total slavery…. May God save us from this men that just go about abusing our right as a woman…. Pains of womanhood.

  17. I wouldn’t want to say anything about the Malawian man. That’s too barbaric for any sane person to indulge in. As for the victims, this is what u get when u restrict education to male child only, Or the entire community are living in bondage. What about the rich men daughters in that community???. Do dey require his service too. On the issues of gender equality and women right… Tradition and culture restrict most of them if not all. House wife getting rapped by her husband and she can’t or better not complain nor reporThe people trying to regulate initially may think its in the best interest of all especially the girl child or women. For Instance, some ladies do put on too revealing cloths ON in an environment where that can be Translated to being against their law. Sokoto or Kano for instance. Sometimes ago, I saw it on the Internet that a popular national union chairman in Oshodi MC musiliu want to celebrate his birthday and any lady that want to attend must with no underwear (bra). Not only did they obliged to that I even see some in pictures wearing see through tops some even where fish net as tops revealing their breast as giving to them by God. Imagine that in a chaotic environment. If rape cases becomes rampant, the police, LGA chairman of that area comes under fire largely by women carrying placards.The regulators over did it though. There are enough law in Nigeria that protects everyone. Let that be well implemented first

  18. Verbal harassment against anybody is a criminal offense and punishable under law. Let alone taking a woman/girl against her will. Our parents(mothers especially) has alot to do. When ur daughter loves standing in front of mirror, applying lipstick and powder at 9yrs………. caution!. The writer on her side had misplaced priorities…. At least that’s how I see it. When queen Elizabeth went to Qatar (a Muslim country) in the middle East she recognized the fact that she’s in a Muslim country and wear a veil covering her hair and she didn’t offer to shook hands with their prime Minister. She wasn’t forced to that, Maybe we will get to that level with the western world but we are not there yet. On gender equality I Believe we will get there. Slow and steady. The people that are suppose to fight that war are after themselves. When melaye harassed and threatened her she fights back. A case scenario was that of Oluremi tinubu. Before then, there was a case of a police officer (man) beating and dragging a pregnant woman in the mud. Another one was when another police officer physically assaulted a female traffic warden in sagamu. What was her (Oluremi tinubu) take on those issues, even this writer what was her take on these things. But when she received the same stroke of cane she rally for support. For those who have our voice, let them stand and speak for us.

  19. This is to the ladies-Respect IT and don’t insist of the C of O . In Sunday school some weeks/7months back,we had a class on Rape,the types and how it can be eradicated.
    Types of Rape discussed is – gang, family.e.t.c
    The causes – bad company, indecent dressing or maybe fault from parent.
    Lets sha put God in everything we are doing ..
    Guys don’t hesitate to get THiS and Ladies don’t mind either .

  20. Ladies should be respected and treated well. Or maybe Parents should take note ‘tho,your daughter-child should be taught about Sex education,should be properly monitored. Lets take God first..shalom

  21. OUR RIGHT IS OUR DIGNITY,OUR DIGNITY IS OUR PRIDE,OUR PRIDE IS OUR VIGINITY. And this for no reason should be taken forcefully..

    WOMEN SHOULD be treated like a QUEEN.

  22. This belief, especially in the hearts of most African men, that ‘women are weaker vessels’ has been made the foundation of their ideology towards the opposite sex. Extensively re-modernized and passed on their offspring as their basis has not only messed up their minds but endangered the very safety of any woman that stands against it.

    Women are created to be Loved not abused. Any man who abuses women is ignorant, insecure, and weak. Real men protect women.

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