Essays, Opinion Articles

Essay: Gender Based Violence and Religion by Esther Ojetunde.

  Gender based violence is violence directed against a person because of that person’s gender, or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately.[1] Religion is the entire collection of beliefs, values, and practices that a group holds to be the true and sacred. A group’s religious beliefs explain where the people fit in relation to the universe and how they should behave while here on Earth.[2] Gender-based violence (GBV) is the most pervasive yet least visible human rights violation in the world. It includes physical, sexual, mental or economic harm inflicted on a person because of socially ascribed power imbalances between males and females. It also includes the threat of violence, coercion and deprivation of liberty, whether in public or private. In all societies, women and girls have less power than men – over their bodies, decisions and resources. Social norms that condone men’s use of violence as a form of discipline and control reinforce gender inequality and perpetuate gender-based violence. Across the globe, women and girls – especially adolescents – face the greatest risk. Gender-based violence takes numerous forms: Intimate partner violence, sexual violence, child marriage, female genital mutilation, trafficking for sexual exploitation, female infanticide, and ‘honour’ crimes are common – with intimate partner violence occurring at staggering rates in every country.[3] Groups that are particularly vulnerable include: women and girls children older people people living with disabilities lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual (LGBTQA+) people (Nkonyane, 2019) Religious houses are the bastions of chauvinism and women oppression in this country. They exercise not just influence, but also real power over the teeming millions of their devotees. The religious leaders’ word is unquestioningly taken for gospel by the believer. The worship centres commands the women folk to be “submissive” to the men folk in all circumstance, then, chastise the woman for not being submissive enough the moment the man turns nasty. There is hardly a dispute between a couple that is not traced to the woman’s conduct or misconduct in the led up to the attack on them. Both Islam and Christian doctrines reference women as chattels of their men; a nod and a wink to the misogynistic impulse in men. It creates and augments the man’s propensity to violence against women.[4] Some warning signs of abuse in the home or in a relationship include: Pushing for quick involvement: Comes on strong, claiming, “I’ve never felt loved like this by anyone.” Jealousy: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly; prevents you from going to work because “you might meet someone.” Controlling Behavior: Interrogates you intensely (especially if you’re late) about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money; insists you ask permission to do anything. Unrealistic expectations: Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need. Isolation: Tries to cut you off from family and friends; accuses people who support you of “causing trouble.” Blaming others for problems or mistakes: It’s always someone else’s fault when anything goes wrong. Making others responsible for his or her feelings: The abuser says, “You make me angry,” instead of “I am angry,” or says, “You’re hurting me by not doing what I tell you.” Hypersensitivity: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he or she is really mad. Cruelty to animals or children: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also, may expect children to do things that are far beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper) or may tease them until they cry. Use of force during sex: Enjoys throwing you down or holding you down against your will during sex. Verbal abuse: Constantly criticizes or says blatantly cruel, hurtful things, degrades, curses, calls you ugly names. Rigid roles: Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home. Sudden mood swings: Switches from sweet to violent in minutes. Past battering: Admits to hitting a mate in the past, but says the person “made” him (or her) do it. Threats of violence: Says things like, “I’ll break your neck,” or “I’ll kill you,” and then dismisses them with, “I didn’t really mean it.” Controlling behaviors using social media or technology[5]   Forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV) GBV can occur in many different forms. These are the most common forms: 1.Physical 2.Emotional 3.Sexual 4.Technological 5.Financial   Physical Hitting, slapping, punching, kicking Burning Strangulation Damaging personal property Refusing medical care and/or controlling medication Coercing partner into substance abuse Use of weapons Emotional Name calling, insulting Blaming the partner for everything Extreme jealousy Intimidation Shaming, humiliating Isolation Controlling what the partner does and where the partner goes Stalking Sexual Forcing a partner to have sex with other people Pursuing sexual activity when the victim is not fully conscious or is afraid to say no Hurting partner physically during sex Coercing partner to have sex without protection / sabotaging birth control   Technological Hacking into a partner’s e-mail and personal accounts Using tracking devices in a partner’s cell phone to monitor their location, phone calls and messages Monitoring interactions via social media Demanding to know partner’s passwords   Financial Inflicting physical harm or injury that would prevent the person from attending work Harassing partner at their workplace Controlling financial assets and effectively putting partner on an allowance Damaging a partner’s credit score   The impact of GBV The potential harmful impacts of these forms of GBV include: 1. Ill health 2. psychological, physical and emotional trauma 3. Unwanted pregnancies 4. Sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection 5. Suicide 6. Depression 7. Low self-esteem 8. Death 9. Educational delays with your studies 10. Drop out[6] Religious teaching can be a serious hindrance to having faith communities responding actively to GBV. Teaching can support religious beliefs that contribute to creating an environment that justifies GBV and hamper survivorsfrom seeking help and leaving abusive situations. Especially messages about submissiveness have been used to justify abuse. Furthermore, the beliefs espoused by faith leaders on the issue of divorce are often detrimental to the safety of

Opinion Articles, Writers

Illiteracy, The Cause Of Social Problems by Ojetunde Esther.

  From the OXFORD ADVANCED LEARNERS DICTIONARY, an illetrate is referred to as a person not knowing how to read or write. Social is defined as being connected with society and the way it is organized while problem, is a thing that is difficult to deal with or to understand. Putting these definitions together, we can however say that the topic mean not knowing how to read or write is a cause of societal inability to deal with. Nigeria is a country that houses a high number of people with one educational qualification or the other, so why do we trend on social problems? The reason is that most Nigerians have been turned into dummies just learning how to cram and pour for exams and passing through school. The system does not ingrain values into the hearts of students. Students with impeccable characters are not rewarded, they are mostly condemned and neglected; they are regarded as not being smart. The educational system is designed in such a way that as long as you can come out with an outstanding grade you are too be rewarded. This then calls for concerns because those students turn out each year having passed through four, five or six years of study and craftiness, they imbibe it into the society. They say it is not by hard work or diligence it is by connection or having money. Having that mind they go through anything as long as they have their results and we all know that can be deadly. Anything that does not pass through the normal course of hard work diligence and maturity will not last. A man therefore graduates with good grades from the University goes around searching for job. He is met with companies turning him down due to having no connection. He meets his friend who he knows played all through school cruising a jeep. He is amazed, the friend gives his card, dipped his hand into his purse bringing out cash, not bothering to count it, hands it over to his friend with a promise to help him when they meet. They meet and he is again amazed at how massive the house his. He is met with another amazement getting in and seeing an expensively furnished house.His wife comes him and they are introduced. He was served well that he could not help but sigh. He remembers the pressure from home to get a job and get married. Salewa his girlfriend asking to break up if he can not meet her needs. He is jolted out of his thoughts by his friend, who asked him what he was thinking. He muttered my friend show me the way. His friend smiles promising to look into his matter and told him to relax. Few days after he is taken to the house of an herbalist where he is told to give up a person he truly loves for him to be wealthy. He gives his mother up and the wealth comes. Months after, the herbalist told him he had to take on more sacrifices to be able to retain his wealth, pregnant women, virgins, day old babies and a lot are used to keep money flowing. Or a man who decides to kidnap people either to gain money from the family or to sell to ritualst who uses their body parts for money. Or a young lady who finished from school and in a bid to keep up with trends prostitutes herself for wealth to married men and men old enough to be her father. The younger generation watches how these things go, because most of these people become superstars. People want to be associated with people who have money than someone who is wise. They themselves not wanting to be like that decides to go by those lessons. Then the cycle revolves. I’lletracy in this twenty- first century has therefore gone beyond been able to read and write to been able to differentiate between right and wrong , and going on the right path. The right path will always lead to peace and every good thing. Let us therefore, embrace societal values and good morals in our activities, as a Doctor who kills patients for money Is the same as a drop out that performs armed robbery. Together we can bring our societal problem to its root! Ojetunde Esther, a first-year student of Pharmacy in the University of Lagos wrote in via ojetundeesther45@gmail.com  

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