Psychological violence: The hidden form of violence

Hi readers. How has your week been? I hope it has been productive and satisfying.

This post is about domestic violence. Although, I used “her” and “she” when referring to the victim through out the post, its content still applies to both genders.  This post in no way dismisses the fact that men are also victims of domestic violence. Unfortunately, in our society, due to gender norms, men hardly ever report these incidences. I promise to write about the reality of domestic violence among men in another post.

Istanbul Convention defines Violence against women” as the violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women and means all acts of gender‐based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

The above definition is very long, but extremely vital. It details the several forms of violence and points out that violence is much more than physical harm. These details are absolutely necessary, because we often disregard psychological violence. Continue reading

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Poetry: The light in me

Hi readers, its been so long. Too long. I have truly missed blogging. So much. Too many things have come up and taken over my time. Hence, the things I used to do and loved doing have fallen by the way side. Responsibilities, responsibilities, responsibilities… I won’t promise not to be AWOL again, because these responsibilities still exist, but I promise to try. I promise to be more committed.

This month, 11th Oct, the world celebrated International Day of the Girl Child to create awareness about gender issues that millions of girls face just because they are girls. Issues like child marriage, female genital mutilation and denial of education occur because of the existing gender norms in our societies. If society didn’t believe that a woman’s place was only in the kitchen, many girls would not be denied their right to education, or forced to marry at such a tender age. If gender norms did not exist, millions of girls would not have their genitals mutilated because it was considered unclean, or a means of promiscuity.  Continue reading

Something Extra

According to WHO, Nigeria currently has one of the worst healthcare systems in the world (187th out of 190 countries), despite having a large GDP and abundant mineral resources. Countries that are poorer are doing better with their health care system. We train doctors, but about 60% of them go abroad to work. Who can blame them? With the high workload and the small pay, doctors always want to seek better opportunities. What results is an even higher workload, for those doctors who have not yet had the opportunity to leave. Continue reading

Accepting reality and mental health

I had a discussion with someone a few months ago about a man who was reported to commit suicide. I remember talking about how the man was probably depressed and how this may have led to his suicide. And I remember clearly that my friend laughed and said “But, Nigerians do not get depressed”. This is a typical opinion among many of us. We do not believe in mental illnesses. And if we do not believe it exists, how do we even begin to understand it?

Nigeria is in denial about mental illness. Continue reading

Happy International Youth day

We have attained Bachelor and Masters Degrees. We have applied for jobs we are overqualified for. We have been harassed by gatemen of large corporations as we shamelessly attempt to drop our unsolicited CVs. We have fallen prey to fraudsters who promised us jobs if we pay an exorbitant sum of money. We do not want to look at our parents’ faces because we do not want to see the disappointment they try to hide. They have spent so much on our education, you see? Continue reading

Housemaid saga: Questions for Madam

In Nigeria, there is a form of child labour that is quite common and accepted, and that is employing children to be housemaids. This situation stems from poverty. For several socio-cultural or economic reasons, many parents do not plan their families and end up having too many children to take care of. This causes them to give out their children to work for others as housemaids. This is also what gives rise to child beggars and child hawkers. But that is a story for another day.

Anyway, in this case, females are mostly the victims and get to live under some pretty harsh conditions. So in light of this, I have just a few questions for Madam. Yes, you who own underage housemaids. Continue reading

Heat confessions (Heat and my health)

I am so glad the rain has come and the heat has been washed away. Because the season was too hot.

If there was constant electricity, I wouldn’t have had cause to complain much, because then, being indoors wouldn’t be a problem. But this season, being indoors and outdoors were equally frustrating.

Now that it’s gone, I just have to rant about the good and bad ways the heat affected my health. Continue reading

Something will do us

Dear Nigerians,

I am sure by now, everyone has heard of the terrible ordeal Ese went through. The story goes that, at 13 years old, Ese, a girl from Bayelsa state was kidnapped by a northerner, taken to Kano and forced to be a muslim and was wedded to him. After a period of time, it was brought to the attention of the media and there was a media frenzy. She has now returned home but alas, that is not the end of the tragic story. Ese is now pregnant, at 14. Continue reading

If You Do Not, Who Will?

Dear Nigerians,

Before I wrote this post, I stared at the blank MS Word page on my laptop screen for hours searching for the perfect words to write. Those magic words that will inspire and motivate you to see your health as a priority. Words that will make you adopt a healthy lifestyle. And I must confess, I could think of nothing. After a few hours of thinking and writing and deleting, I decided to write why adopting a healthy lifestyle is important to me.

I guess the most obvious reason is that, I do not want to be sick. I hate being sick. I hate that feeling of weakness and helplessness, of pain and weariness. I hate that I have to depend on someone to take care of me and I hate that my caretaker will have to be inconvenienced. Oh, and I hate pills and injections. Need I say more? Continue reading