In the last five months, I have been opportune to meet ordinary day-to-day women while working in communities under Local Government Areas where the Northern Education Initiative Plus is providing basic education for out-of-school children. These women groups who are farmers, traders, housewives, volunteer to visit house-to-house to educate parents of the benefits of sending their children to school. They engage community leaders who in turn lend their support to the importance of education. These efforts have increased the number of children enrolled in non-formal centers across communities in Bauchi and Sokoto states Nigeria.
As we mark another International Women’s Day, Femininematerz celebrates the sacrifices and efforts of these women who though uneducated have decided to ensure that children in their communities go to school through individual and collective sacrifice.
A short message from my heart to every woman on this special day. Happy International women’s day!
Adebisi Adetunji (C) Broadcast Journalist, Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – email@example.com
The utmost responsibility of any nation is to provide security for her citizens – Prof. Stella Odebode.
As the world marked another “Day of the Girl Child” on 11th October 2018,there were many activities organized by individuals, organizations, and groups to draw attention to the challenges beguiling and preventing girls from achieving their potentials. It was also to bring to fore practices that harm the girl child’s physical and psychological well-being and to seek solutions to ending these inhuman treatments such as rape, sexual violence, abduction and kidnap, sex slavery, early marriage, lack of equal rights to education and opportunities, domestic abuse, child slavery and Female Genital Mutilation(FGM).
One of such organization, “The Fill in the Gap Outreach(NGO)”, brought together various stakeholders; students, parents and guardians, policy makers, Community leaders, development partners, and the media to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child through a public lecture. The CEO, Princess Aderonke Olajide in her opening remarks said that one of the organization’s goal is premised on filling the gaps created by unexpected pregnancy which occurs in the life of some girls for whatever reason. Fill in the Gaps provide support for such girls through ensuring safe delivery of their babies and ensuring they go back to school/learn a skill.
An interesting, informative and eye-opening lecture titled, “The Girl Child as an Endangered Species in the 21st Century Nigeria was delivered by Prof. Stella Odebode, Director Gender Mainstreaming office, University of Ibadan.
A few take away points from the lecture:
Globally 60% of girls are denied education as opposed to boys who are 40%.
Rape and sexual violence is a global phenomenon that needs to be continually addressed. Students are sexually molested by teachers, headmasters and other people who are supposed to be carers.
Perpetrators are hardly prosecutedwhich promotes the culture of silence.
Parents need to be very sensitive and conscious of any signs that anyone is attempting to abuse their wards particularly extended family members living with them.
Prevalence of Child marriage and young mothers:According to a study carried out by Prof. Stella Odebode in Igbo Ora, Oyo state there is a prevalence of young mothers ages 11, 12 and above.
There is an increased incidence of school dropout and unwanted pregnancy in girls.
1 in 4 childrenis reported as having an incidence of sexual violence.
In some parts of Nigeria, 43% of girls are married off before age 18. In some other parts, 15% are married off before age 15.
Key ailments of girls exposed to early marriage are VVF, Anemia, High Blood pressure, premature births and even death in some cases.
Enforcement and implementation of the law against rape/sexual abuse. According to the Nigerian criminal code- Any person who has unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl/woman without her consent; by means of force, threat or intimidation is guilty of an offense of rape/sexual abuse which is punishable under the law.
Formal criminalization of child marriage in all parts of the country in Nigeria.
Focus more resources to provide equal opportunitiesfor boys and girls.
All maternity and orphanage homes should be dully registered to nib in the board criminal activities that expose children particularly girls to any form of sexual exploitation and abuse.
Speak up and do something about that your neighbor who is abusing his/her housemaid or child. If you notice something isn’t right and a life is endangered, do not mind your business. Remember that it could be you or your child.
You are standing under the shade of a tree because someone planted it – Warren Buffet
Dignitaries at the Lecture
Dr. Mike Omotosho, PDG, D9125, AKS Rotary International – Chairman. Her Excellency, Omolewa Yetunde Ahmed- First Lady of Kwara State – Special guest of Honour Prof. Stella Odebode – Guest Lecturer Mr. Oluwarotimi O. Martins – MD/CEO Midway Airlines – Chief Launcher Chief Mrs. Ranti Koiki – CEO, Fawzy Hotels, Nigeria – Guest of Honour Alh. Mohammed Bello – Zonal Director, FRCN Ibadan Zonal station – Guest of Honor Asiwaju Abdlrazaq Shittu – President/Chairman, Skysite Offshore Access (WA)Ltd – Father of the Day Princess Olabisi Sangodoyin
Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant-@debisibusybeemedia, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Controller Programs (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter – @DebisiBusybee, Facebook & email – firstname.lastname@example.org
A safe place connotes a conducive and enabling environment to be yourself and pursue your goals and dreams without fear or any inhibition. We all need that safe place to blossom and flourish.
What does a “safe place mean to a young person? This takes me down memory lane to my adolescent years. Look I’m not that old *wink… Lol😀.
As a teenager while growing up I and my sisters – we are four by the way, had more male friends than girls. The percentage was 90-10%… I am serious here…. So you can imagine the “fear & terror”, this must have brought to my parents… Hahaha. As African parents or any parent at all there is that extra carefulness you adopt when it comes to raising girls. Often you will hear parents especially mom’s like mine say something like this : “Eyin omo yi, e ma doju timi o!”. Meaning ‘Don’t bring shame to the family “, and by that they mean” do not get pregnant o“! “Becareful with boys”. Are you following my gist? So four teenage girls in the hands of my parents was a huge task in their minds.
Yearly we would organize our special Boxing day party for all the teenagers in our neighborhood and Youth group in church and we would have a hard time trying to get more girls to come to our party. I was the chairman organizing committee leader and sometimes I will hope and pray that my father will not adjust his glasses to access why we had more boys in attendance… “poor me”.
But you know what, admist all the adolescent age drama with friends and parents I felt safe and was able to express myself. I don’t know who taught my parent this wisdom I am about to share but it worked!
Instead of policing us and putting all our activities under a microscope my parents decided to have an open door policy. Our friends whether males or females were allowed to visit our home and they even get to gist with my parents. My Dad will engage us all in a friendly discussion and soon we would all be laughing. My friends back then thought my dad and mum were cool. While dad engages us in a gist, mum will be busy serving snacks or any food available in the pot. Unknown to us it was a strategy to learn more about who our friends were; possibly investigate what we have been up to. Mostly for us, we felt free to bring our friends home and be ourselves.
Now did we ever experienced that parent versus adolescent clashes? Of course plenty… Lol. However our parents open door policy was a check mate for us. Anytime Dad begins to raise some extra questions about a particular friend we were quick to understand that something wasn’t right because he hardly complained about our friends. So without having to breath down our necks, I and my siblings always found ways to cut off such friendship. I found out that I could speak to my mum intimately about my crushes and issues with the opposite sex.
Every time we have a chance to talk about our adolescent years at family reunions, it is usually with fond memories. 💑 Of course life is never perfect but we thoroughly enjoyed those years.
So back to my gist about creating Safe Places for Young People, I say it is doable. Mostly adults have the major responsibility of making young persons feel safe. We can do this by creating an enabling environment where young people can:
1. Be free to express themselves.
2. Have a listening ear who will be there for him or her.
3. Have a loving home environment.
4. Have a space and opportunities that allows them access to information about life: their wellbeing and reproductive health.
5. Give room for them to bring to the table their questions about issues that trouble people in their age group without fear of being judged.
The International Youth Day is celebrated every 12th of August yearly and this year’s theme is “Creating Safe Places for Young People”.
As a parent are you intentional about creating a safe place for your adolescents? Instead of adopting the “body guard” approach create an atmosphere that allows your children to express themselves. Build a relationship that gives room for conversations that will help guide them in making informed and right choices.
Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer, Principal Producer (FRCN) Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee Facebook & email – email@example.com
Have you ever found yourself in a different place or clime from yours and you were confused, felt lost and shocked by the lifestyle of people in that place or society? It is called culture shock.
How do you prepare for or handle culture shock?
When planning to visit a new place either for a professional or fun visit read up about the culture, beliefs, and practices of the people living in the place you are visiting.
Find out from others who have been to such placesor simply Google…the information hub for the modern day society.
Get interested in and engage people living in the new cultureabout their way of life, soon you will make friends and you become more comfortable.
Come to respect the culture
You don’t have to lose yourself in a new culture; be yourself and show others what your own culture looks like by wearing your attire sometimes if appropriate in the setting.
Know what is acceptable and unacceptable in the new culture in order to know how to behave appropriately and not come across as rude or offensive.
People are different and believe differently this doesn’t make them superior, less important or bad. Understand that your way of life is one out of many other cultures in the world.
As we celebrate another World Cultural Day, let’s reach out across our table and learn more about others.
Understanding and acceptance help to promote peace and development.
Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development, Social Media Influencer
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – firstname.lastname@example.org
I am excited to be a part of the ideas team for XX-FILES a radio program that inspires women to reach for the sky and beyond.
We wanted to do a special package to educate listeners about the negative impact of female genital mutilationand cutting on girls and women for the 6th of February. This is the international day of Zero tolerance for FGMC.
All the morning shows were not suitable so I shared the idea of doing a one-off women’s program only for that day with my bosses.The idea got a positive nod. However as we sat down to plan and give the program a title out came the phrase XX chromosomes and then XX-FILES! Everyone liked the idea and that was how I got myself into extra work o… Meaning that my work load had simply increased. Just when I was thinking of shedding something off *wink.
Right now XX-FILES is now going to be a weekly live program… All about the female gender. A splash of the different aspects of women’s lives ranging from lifestyle, leadership, politics, empowerment, fashion, relationship, family life, career issues and more.
So thanks to the International day of Zero tolerance for FGMC – we gave birth to a brand new program. My guest for the debut edition was Ms Abimbola Aladejare – Founder and Executive director of The New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative.
She is an FGMC survivor and is passionate about ending this harmful cultural practice.
Female genital mutilation and cutting is not a campaign slogan it is an issue that affects many girls and women. Many live with the consequences of having been cut. Let’s keep the discussions going; let’s keep educating those who hold tenaciously to this practice in ignorance.
Together we can end FGMC in a generation!
XX-FILES comes up every Tuesday at 10am on Premier FM 93.5.