Creating space for girls

It’s always better to hear from the horse’s mouth.

Inspiration talk by Mrs Mohammad. Sometimes it is easy to imagine all women in the north were subjected to early marriage especially with the attitude of some public officials in the news.

What I found impressive is Mrs Mohammad’s attitude of realising her privilege and effort to help educate many people around her that are less fortunate.

A typical example of why it is important to always look back and realise not everyone is fortunate is when, years later Mrs Mohammad saw her old friend who was forced to get married at 14years old  – She was expecting her first child while the old friend was expecting her 8th! 3:40 – 6:00

Oh, how sweet that the talk ended with a song of Hope by Jimmy Cliff “I can see clearly now, the rain is gone…”



Categories: Nigeria

Tags: , , ,

11 replies

  1. It is good to hear from other parts of Nigeria, not just the south.
    She isn’t doing anything drastic but because the state of affairs there for young girls is so terrible, it is a big deal.
    What struck me is deliberate disempowerment of young girls by family, culture and wider society. That seems so unbearable, not to mention someone (your husband) governing your every move. That for me is enough to get me to run away.
    She said she trains the girls to negotiate, how much bargaining power do to they have, it all boils down to the ‘generosity’ of their husband. There is no such talk of equality, when equality truly exists, then we can really arrive at a real concept of negotiation, not someone begging for their inherent human rights to be who they want to be, from their master (husband). Traditional African culture for kids doesn’t look like much fun, too may onerous restrictions. Sure there will be exceptions, but I don’t envy it in the slightest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No doubt Mrs Mohammad is an exception, I’m sure there are handfuls like her who had very privilege upbringing, being a lone preacher can be tough especially if one still lives in the community.

      I suppose to ‘negotiate’ is all she’s allowed to do? I agree, there isn’t much to negotiate if all means one is still going to be married off at 14.

      Talking about running away – I think some of these girls are so sheltered they probably didn’t know where to run that’s any better than home. For example the case of Wasila who poisoned her husband, I suppose she would have ran away rather than outright killing the shameless goon if she knew she’d be safe.

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      • I’d be thinking, “do I want to spend the rest of my life as some sort of slave and housekeeper, or will I take my chances on running away?” I’d opt for the latter, it might not be immediate, I’d have to check things out, but without doubt, I’d clear out of that joint. The man can find some other person to enslave and call it marriage.
        The case of Wasila is very unfortunate, it appears she was trapped and struck out the only way she knew how.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Haha. Remember from the clip the lady talked about tricky situation where grandma/mother inlaw and young bride are in the same class learning ‘negotiating tricks’ – I think for some girls, that’s just all that they are familiar with, with a few exception such as the speaker.

          Having said that, with smart phones and ease of information sharing, things can only get better as people can now seek advice from friends or learn more about how they have the power to change things i.e run away.

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          • My takeaway point from this, is not to surrender your thought process. Not to simply rely on family or friends, think for yourself and reason what is best for you. There is a whole world out there, what is presented as your future need not necessarily be so…
            Sometimes family and friends are the very people shackling you down to a life you’d rather not live. Go ahead make your decisions and live your life… have the courage to take that simple step.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. She has a good sense of humour too whilst saying the needful in its simplicity!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an articulate and brave woman, Mrs. Muhammad is. She speaks so well, identifies the problems and has good solution for the problems.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

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