Give The Girl Child Pen,Not Penis
Last Friday child bride, Rahma Hussein, who was found culpable of killing her husband by the court seven years ago regained freedom. Hussein, who hails from Kano state was jailed when she was only 16.
I am very excited about the pardon granted to the young woman. While, the killing of anyone is condemable, the circumstances that led to the killing of her husband, Tijjiani Basiru whom she stabbed to death is a difficult one.
Rahma Hussein was forced against her wish to marry Basiru. She was also underage.
While the Law didn't expressly provide that the age of sexual consent in Nigeria is 18, the gamut and purport of section 31 of the Child's Rights Act implies that "the age of eighteen years" is a benchmark that could determine the difference between an adult and a child.
For that reason, having sex with someone who is below 18 is a criminal offense, tantamount to abuse and rape. But in Nigeria, proving a case of rape is very difficult. The law protects lecherous men. If the law is applied to the letter, the action of Rahma Hussein could be viewed differently as self defence against rape and abuse. Report says that by the time her husband wanted to have sex with her to consummate the forced marriage, she picked up a kitchen knife and killed him.
This was why her case was viewed as culpable homicide instead of first degree murder. And after 7 Years in prison she was finally released and the records of the crime expunged as it were.
What the girl child needs is a PEN and not a PENIS. What a girl child deserves is true love and acceptance in world domination, control and exploitation.
As someone who works in a hospital, l have encountered stories of how hapless and helpless girl, lady or woman has been sexually exploited. Some of such cases resulted in VVF , STDs and in worst case scenario, death.
Marriage must not be by force and a woman must be given the right to chose whom to marry. It is regrettable that we live in a society that judges the success and achievements of a woman based on her marital status. A woman can chose to be single and yet achieve success and live a fulfilled life.
And women who for obvious reasons chose divorce as last option out of a misreable and llife-threatening situation I shouldn't be stigmatized by the religious or society. Divorce is better than murder.
At 16, Rahma Hussein should be in a class room and not in a man's house as wife. What does she know about marriage ? How could she handle the psychological and economic pressures of living with a man and raising children ?
Sadly, Nigeria has the highest number of out of school girls in the whole world.One in every five of the world's out-of-school children is in Nigeria. Even though primary education is officially free and compulsory, parents still prefered sending their boy-child to school to girl-child.
In their thinking, an investment made in a woman is like an investment made for another man. They see a woman as a man's property instead of a full-fledged human being who was created equal to man and has the right to attain any position and status of choice.
Available data shows that there are about 13.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, 7.93 million are girls. This is alarming.
Strong investments should be made in the training and development of women and girls. Until the girl child is well trained, Nigeria will never come out of the clutches of underdevelopment as the world's capital of poverty.
Investments made in women and girls will yield more dividends than capital investments in petroleum and natural resources. This is because the richest people on earth who control global wealth according to Forbes ranking are not oil moguls but men and women who invested in knowledge, skills and know-how.
There has never been a more critical time to invest in people, especially in women and girls than now and save the world the circumstances that thrust up Rahma Hussein.
31st August 2021...
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