Content Warning: This article intimately describes sexual violence and could be triggering to people affected by this issue.
She was perfect. She was beautiful, the type of beauty in which words could never come close to describing. She was dressed in the most captivating mixed of colors, the brightest blue speckled with deep dark red gems. Her face and arms covered in swirls of kohl, each stroke intertwined and forming the most elegant type of art on her body. Her head adorned and covered with a hijab of the deepest shade of red.
Her beauty was something to please the grungy pig that she sat next to. Her body would be owned by the pig-faced old man, old enough to be her grandfather. His hands trailed little circles on her face and he trailed his hands to places that made her squirm. No amount of makeup or jewels could hide her disgust and distaste, as her eyes pleaded for help. Help that would never come. Help that would never come as she was violated in every way by the pig faced man with a belly the size of my mother’s pot and gangly legs that were overrun with arthritis.
She was my friend. She had dreams of someday owning her own business and speaking English fluently. Her dreams would be crushed, with every step she took towards the pig faced man, with every thrust he made as he violated her feeble body, as he physically and emotionally abused her. But still no help would come.
Now I’m not condemning the whole country to not having an source of women’s education or to constantly marrying off their young ones. I’m just condemning the rural parts of Nigeria, the villages and segregated areas that chooses to continue mutilating women's rights to education, their right to sexual consent, and also the right to choosing their significant other. Although some parts have been radicalized and such atrocious acts would be seen as an abomination, they choose to ignore the vital parts of this country that still choose to adhere to traditional gender roles and values, reason being due to the fact that they wholeheartedly believe that women should only be limited to the kitchen, because their intellectual capabilities are not deemed as superior as that of the opposite gender. If was for exactly this reason that the daring Mary Lyon choose to start one of the first women in the world, Mount Holyoke College (High school seniors, you absolutely have to have that on your radar). Unfortunately, the rural parts of Nigeria has no Mary Lyon to fight for their rights to education and most importantly freedom. They have no Mary Lyon to prove them wrong, that women are indeed beings of high intellectual capabilities and their creativity makes them outstandingly unique in what they bring to the table.
Early child marriage in Nigeria not only denies girls to having a right to education, it leads to depression and in most cases death as their marriage consists of being raped and molested in every which way.Their developing minds cannot deal with such kinds of abuse so they resort to other ways of ending their marriage, often this involves them committing suicide.
Women and girls in third world countries, in Nigeria have it hard. They are constantly being objectified and told to behave a certain type of way, enclosing them in a box to fulfill the standard traditional norms. They are seen as nothing but objects to be used and then cast out. In some cases they are not even allowed to attain the necessary education that they wish to attain, but instead they are sold to men as pawns for them to use and violate. When I say, I stand for women’s right, don’t immediately insist that I am some angry black feminist who just wishes to start something for no apparent reason. Women’s education, especially in third world countries, helps put an end to situations like this. So the next time you choose to question my stance on an women's issue, you should first hear my reasons.