Women campaign for community up-bringing for children
A coalition of women group; Edo Women’s Development Initiative (EWDI) yesterday condemned the recent rising cases of children defilement and molestation even as they urged Nigerians to imbibe community upbringing of children with dignity.
President of the group, Professor Yinka Omoregbe stated this in a press conference heralding the second Edo Women’s conference with the theme; “Violence, Crime and Unemployment” where she called on governments, corporate organisation and individuals to engage in ventures that could create work for teeming unemployed young people.
Flanked by a founding member of the group; Dr Rosaline Okosun, Omoregbe said “We believe that these issues we are talking about are not just about arresting the criminals or imprison them; it is not about killing them but it is about discussing why those things have arisen, what is the erosion in values; how should we think, how should we behave decently, how should we train and bring up our children and when I say we, I mean our men and women because both have responsibility; how do react in our roles as teachers, as mentors, leaders, as people in the office because the truth is that every time I come into this town the sheer energy that is in Benin really gets to me, Benin is a place of energy, if you walk around, if you move around, you can see a lot of restless energy, all these young people, very much young boys you see around and you can see they are not doing anything but this is a state that is a clever state; you need to remember that, we hardly had problems passing our exams, it is naturally clever.
If you have young people and their boundless energy and there are clever people there sitting down and doing nothing what is going to happen.
We are going to have crime; we are going to have violence, we are going to have a lot of people with resentment. We believe that if we talk it might spur people to consider alternative ways of reacting with the youths. “I think we have to go back to our roots in raising our children. Women have a major role to play in that and the community.
It takes ability to raise children. I remember growing up as a young girl in Ibadan and Benin; my parents alone did not raise me, neighbours, friends and schools.” Reacting on issues of defilement, Okosun said “We are campaigning vigorously against the exploitation of our young girls in universities, in polytechnics and high schools. But we are trying to change the mindset of our women.
When your child tells you uncle touched here, uncle did me this, say it and do not let cultural beliefs blindfold or deafen your ears to the laws.
Tell your children who are your uncles; if they are not related to you they are not your uncles, they are not your cousins and that is why most of the children who are sexually abused are afraid to say it. And if they tell their mothers, their mothers will keep quiet; one shame, two cultural issues that they will laugh at me that my child has been sexually abused. She is going to tell our women.
But the mother is going tell off or rebuke the child either for lying or even talking out and their fathers will beat them up for lying against their uncle or their family friends. We are telling all, change that mindset, silence has ruined your own child”
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